The film “Wonder Woman,” starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, took in more than $103 million at the North American box office last weekend. According to Variety, the film’s global take was even higher at $122.5 million. It seems everyone was watching “Wonder Woman,” except in Lebanon.
Just hours before the film was set to open there, the country’s Ministry of Economy and Trade successfully petitioned the General Directorate of General Security to ban the film. The reason for the ban was not only Gadot’s Israeli heritage but also the fact that she frequently references her IDF service.
This isn’t the first time the Ministry of Economy and Trade attempted to ban a Gadot film. In 2016, the ministry tried and failed to get “Batman V. Superman,” which marked Gadot’s first appearance as Wonder Woman, banned in Lebanon. According to the Hollywood trade publication Deadline, “Batman V. Superman” earned $843,000 in Lebanon. Also, three of the “Fast and Furious” films featuring Gadot were released in Lebanon, with 2015’s “Furious 7” earning $1.8 million.
So far, it does not appear that the ban is spreading to other markets in the Middle East. The film opened last weekend without controversy in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. Deadline reports that the movie will open in Oman on June 22 and Bahrain on June 29.
The ban on Gadot’s films has been pushed by the Lebanese group Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel.