Qatar has joined Lebanon and Tunisia in banning the popular American blockbuster film Wonder Woman.
While the film has been cheered as some kind of feminist victory by many in the West, as it features a strong white female lead character as a superhero, it has also drawn significant criticism. Gal Gadot, who stars as Wonder Woman, is a former Israeli soldier who has publicly supported Israel's bombing of Gaza in 2014, which left over 1,400 civilians dead.
The Marvel superhero film was set to open in Doha on Thursday but local cinemas said it was blocked, according to Doha News.
Wonder Woman began playing in cinemas in several countries in late May and was set to open in many Middle Eastern countries on June 1. Lebanon made global headlines when it chose to ban the film.
"The Ministry of Economy and Trade announced Monday the adoption of necessary measures to ban the screening of Wonder Woman movie in Lebanese cinemas due to the starring of the Israeli actress Gal Gadot in said movie," Lebanon's National News Agency reported just prior to the ban.
The ministry also mentioned a decree issued by the Arab League in 2016, calling for the ban of any movie featuring Gal Gadot.
Although some Lebanese were upset over the decision, the ban falls in line with Lebanon's efforts to boycott the supporters of Israel and Israeli-affiliated businesses, a task handed to the Bureau for the Boycott of Israel at the Ministry of Economy and Trade.
Lebanon officially considers Israel an enemy state, with some lands in southern Lebanon still occupied by Israel.
Many on social media also pointed out that Gadot would have actually been serving in the Israeli military during the 2006 summer war, which left at least 900 Lebanese civilians dead, according to Human Rights Watch. Israel also destroyed much of Lebanon's infrastructure, including Beirut's airport and many important bridges throughout the country.
In Tunisia, the film was set to open in at least two cinemas but was blocked after the Al-Chaab party (People’s Movement Party) and the Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers sued. The lawsuit called Gadot a "champion Zionist."
Similarly, Algeria blocked the movie from screening at a film festival.
But many other Arab countries have moved forward with screening the film, including the UAE, Oman and Bahrain.