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Lebanon to join the list of nations banning ‘Barbie’ movie

According to Reuters, Lebanon’s Culture Minister, Mohammad Mortada, has taken steps to prevent the exhibition of the film “Barbie” in theatres, alleging that it “promotes homosexuality” and violates religious values.

Lebanon, the first Arab country to host a gay pride week in 2017, has been widely viewed as a comparatively open space for the Middle East’s predominantly conservative LGBT minority. Recent incidents, however, have drawn further attention to this issue, resulting in societal conflicts.

On Tuesday, Lebanon’s cabinet called on residents to defend “family values” during a meeting with the country’s highest Christian priest, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai. However, the LGBT community was not directly mentioned in the statement. According to Ayman Mhanna, executive director of the non-profit civic organization Samir Kassir Foundation, Mortada’s actions are part of a “wave of bigotry,” as reported by Reuters.

“Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, tells the story of Mattel Inc’s renowned doll’s voyage into the real world. Since its release on July 21, the film has grossed more than $1 billion in global box office ticket sales.

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