Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it queer moment cut for Kuwait release
A queer moment described as a “blink-and-you-miss-it” kiss on the forehead has been cut from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for its release in Kuwait.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the moment of affection between Michaela Coel’s character Aneka and Florence Kasumba’s character Ayo has been cut so the film can be released in the Gulf country.
The outlet said the queer kiss, as well as a scene in which a woman gives birth to a child, were part of a small amount of edits “amounting to just over one minute” of cuts.
Kuwait is reportedly the only country requiring cuts to Wakanda Forever, despite several Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, previously censoring same-sex scenes in Marvel and Disney films.
Kuwait is reportedly the strictest country in the region in terms of censorship, requiring a heterosexual kiss between T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) to be cut from the first Black Panther film.
The Hollywood Reporter claims Wakanda Forever will be screening unedited in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
Early reviews of Wakanda Forever have noted a promised queer storyline involving Michaela Coel’s character was limited to a single kiss on the forehead, with reviewer Grace Randolph describing the plot line as “queer-baiting”.
Randolph, who runs a YouTube channel called Beyond the Trailer, described Coel as a “wonderful actor” but said her romance was “almost entirely cut from the film”.
“Her romance with Ayo… has been almost entirely cut out from the film except for a blink-and-you-miss-it kiss, but this time on the forehead,” she said.
In an interview with PA Media, Coel, who is British-Ghanaian, said she hoped her role as a queer woman in Wakanda Forever could have a positive impact in Ghana, where it is illegal to be gay.
The actress said: “For me, it was about why I took the role and what it meant to me to portray a queer character, being from Ghana, where there’s a lot of confusing LGBTQ+ laws going on.
“My focus on that element was very singular… it was about what I represent in Ghana and putting my feet in the shoes of a queer character.”
She added in a separate interview that the fact her character is queer “sold [her] on the role”.
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