United Arab Emirates end film censorship

Censorship that had banned the broadcast of West Side Story and The Eternals recently.

Good news for Steven spielberg : all is not lost for his West Side Story in the United Arab Emirates!

Indeed, his new adaptation of the musical has been the victim of censorship in several countries of the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates. At issue: the transgender character Anybodys played by the non-binary actor Iris Menas. But, soon, this censorship will be a thing of the past. AFP (via French film) reports that “Films shown in cinemas in the United Arab Emirates will no longer be censored, authorities said on Sunday, announcing the creation of a new category of films banned for children under the age of 21”.

Spielberg’s West Side Story banned in several Middle Eastern countries

Now movies rated 21+ “will be distributed in their international version”, with strict control over compliance with age limits, the Media Regulatory Bureau announced on its Twitter account. We can therefore deduce that West Side Story may re-enter the Emirates, particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

This practice of regulating content is not new. As recalled French film, Saudi Arabia had already implemented a classification “sensitive content” for a high age group (that of the civil majority) during the Red Sea International Film Festival. As a result, no censorship had prohibited the broadcasting of certain works, but several films had been reserved for over 18s.

As a reminder, West Side Story, by Steven Spielberg with Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, has been in theaters since December 8. His trailer:

Leave a Reply