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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Banned in United Arab Emirates

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is banned in the United Arab Emirates after failing to pass the country's censorship requirements a week before the film was due to release in the region.

According to Variety, a poster in the background of a frame that depicts the transgender flag and reads "Protect Trans Lives" was one of the concerns that prompted the country's censorship board to prohibit the June 22 release of Across the Spider-Verse.

It's not the first time the UAE has blocked a movie from release. Last year, Disney and Pixar's Lightyear was banned in several Middle Eastern countries due to a scene depicting a same-sex kiss between two space rangers. Marvel's Eternals and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness were also prohibited for similar reasons.

One of the biggest character arcs in Across the Spider-Verse belongs to Gwen Stacy, and it has certainly caught the attention of audiences who have come up with a perhaps unexpected theory: that if Gwen Stacy isn't trans, her storyline is at least relatable to many trans viewers.

While there is no actual dialogue confirming or denying Gwen is trans, fans have drawn parallels between her storyline and a trans journey, and noted some scenes in the second chapter of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga featured the colors of the trans Pride flag.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse ambitiously worked in six different animation styles to bring its multiverse and thousands of Spider-people to life. Read about the extraordinary detail that went into crafting every scene, including its cliffhanger ending, and for resources on how to celebrate Pride Month and support the LGBTQIA+ community, click here.

Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

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