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‘Eternals’ premiere off to a rocky start as movie gets review bombed, banned in Middle East over gay superhero

By AYIE LICSI Published Nov 05, 2021 4:41 pm

Eternals is making Marvel history as the franchise's first movie to feature a gay superhero and a same-sex kiss. While this is a great step towards LGBTQ+ inclusivity for Marvel Cinematic Universe, not all fans are happy about it.

Even before it hit cinemas, many users on IMDb have "review bombed" the new superhero movie, giving it negative ratings and leaving homophobic remarks. This reportedly prompted the review site to take down a number of baselessly negative reviews and barred user reviews until the movie will actually be released.

A user said one of the problems with Eternals was its "contrived social and gender messaging that has nothing to do with the plot." Another said the movie is trying to be "too woke" for featuring the openly gay Phastos. "There is no need to mention a male character having a husband. Who are they trying to cater to?"

Professional film critics who have already seen the Marvel movie gave it the worst reviews an MCU film has ever received, but it wasn't for including a gay superhero.

Eternals joins the same boat as Captain Marvel, which was also review bombed by trolls for its "feminist agenda." Rotten Tomatoes even had to remove the movie's audience score at the time.

Banned from cinemas

The big-budget superhero flick has also been pulled from cinemas in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. Sources suggest that the decision to ban the movie was due to the inclusion of a same-sex couple.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney denied the series of edit requests from local censors. In several interviews, director Chloé Zhao expressed her hope that Disney won't alter or censor the film overseas and it looks like they're fulfilling her wish.

Eternals might be the first MCU film with outright queer representation but it won't be the last. Tessa Thompson, who will reprise her role as Valkyrie in Thor: Love & Thunder, said that her character might be searching for a new queen to reign at her side in New Asgard.