Marketing.Media.Money

Pixar movie 'Onward' reportedly banned in four Middle East countries for lesbian reference

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt voice teenage elf brothers in Pixars' "Onward." The pair embark on a quest to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.
Disney

The new movie "Onward" is notable for featuring Disney/Pixar's first openly gay character, a fact that has not gone down well in some Middle Eastern markets.

One of the female characters, Officer Specter, refers to a woman partner in a conversation with the movie's two stars. It's because of this that it has been banned in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, according to Hollywood industry website Deadline.

Specter, a cop voiced by Lena Waithe, is discussing parenting issues with elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot, played by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland. "It's not easy being a new parent — my girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out, okay?" she states.

But although the movie appears to be missing from schedules in some Middle Eastern countries, others such as Egypt and Lebanon are showing the movie. In Cairo, the cinema chain Vox is listing times for "Onward" on its website. 

Russia, meanwhile, has changed the word "girlfriend" to "partner" in the movie, according to a report on website The Moscow Times.

This isn't the first-time content referring to LGBT people has been censored or removed. Last year the Elton John biopic "Rocketman" had scenes allegedly edited out for Russian audiences, including a photograph of John and his husband David Furnish, according to a Reuters report. John called the move "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people."

"Onward" opened in the U.S. on March 6 to mixed reviews.

Disney had not responded to CNBC's request for comment at the time of publication.