Lebanese authorities banned the new “Wonder Woman” film on Wednesday, hours before it was due to premiere in the capital, following a campaign against lead actress Gal Gadot, who served in the Israeli army.
Cinemas in Beirut began removing the film’s posters and cinema executives said it will not be shown because of the ban.
Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and the two countries have been through a number of wars. A particularly devastating 2006 war battered Lebanon’s infrastructure and left hundreds of civilians killed.
The ban is in accordance with a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from travelling to Israel or having contacts with Israelis.
The official says the ban issued by the minister of interior on Wednesday has been relayed to the distribution company, which in turn has to inform the cinemas planning to show the film.
A premiere later on Wednesday in Beirut was cancelled. An executive at the Grand Cinema chain said the company was planning to show the film in 16 out of its 18 theatres around the country, but it would now be removed.
The security official said violators of the ban will have to face legal consequences, but he didn’t specify. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been published.
A campaigner against the film, Rania Masri, hailed the decision to ban “Wonder Woman”, saying it signaled respect for the law. She said there was much anticipation as the decision was last minute, just before the official launch of the film. (AP)