Lebanese actor Haaz Sleiman SLAMS Arab nations for banning Eternals: I have no respect for those governments
Haaz Sleiman, who portrays Ben in Chloe Zhao's newest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) offering 'Eternals,' came close to tears when he learned that the film has been banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar over its LGBTQ+ content.
The actor, 45, told Variety on Friday that he was moved to tears when Disney refused to modify the film's material, which has since been banned in countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. The film was planned to be released in those nations on November 11th. "They stood their ground and said, "Nope, we are not going to compromise the integrity of our film," he said as per Daily Mail. "It made these Arab countries looks so ignorant and pathetic." However, Sleiman continued, "I have no respect for those governments. They have displayed to the world that they are not only a disgrace to humanity, but to God. Hopefully this will inspire the Saudi people, the Kuwaiti people and the people in Qatar to fight back."
Meanwhile, in the film, Sleiman, who is openly homosexual, plays Phastos' (Brian Tyree Henry) spouse Ben. In the film directed by Chloé Zhao, Phastos becomes the first homosexual superhero in the MCU. The actor, who grew up in a Muslim household in Lebanon, spoke about an incident in the film in which his character speaks Arabic. "That moment shows the love between me and Phastos and it’s a statement on its own that you hear someone speak like that,' Sleiman said. 'I never thought I would see that, let alone that I got to do it."
However, the day after the movie's premiere, director Chloe Zhao explained that Phastosa's husband and family were already baked into Marvel Studios' conception of the character when she first began discussing making the film with the studio. She was especially taken with the idea that Phastos - an ageless alien who came to Earth 7,000 years ago to help guide a human civilisation through his powers of invention - rediscovers his long-lost faith in humanity through finding Ben and starting a family.