By: Cara Buckley; nytimes.com
“Wonder Woman” may be the summer’s most anticipated film nationally, if not globally, but one country it won’t be seen in is Lebanon, where on Wednesday it was banned because its lead actress, Gal Gadot, is from Israel.
The ban was announced on Twitter by Grand Cinemas, which describes itself as Lebanon’s largest theater chain. The news came two hours before “Wonder Woman” was to premiere Wednesday night in Beirut, where posters for the film adorn the streets. It had been scheduled to screen in 15 Lebanese theaters in all.
Among the most vocal supporters for a ban was the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon. On its Facebook page, the group singled out Ms. Gadot’s mandated service in the Israeli army and a 2014 Facebook post in which the actress said she was praying for Israeli citizens caught up in the Gaza conflict, and also that she decried “the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children.”
Lebanon shares its southern border and decades of acrimony with Israel; the two countries went to war in 2006. Lebanon officially boycotts Israeli products and bars its citizens from traveling there. The country however did not ban earlier films that Ms. Gadot starred in, including installments of the “Fast and Furious” series and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Warner Bros. declined to comment. “Wonder Woman” is still scheduled to open elsewhere in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.