A Country Bans ‘Wonder Woman’ Because Its Star Is From Israel

Wonder Woman is expected to have a massive opening weekend, but not in Lebanon: The country has officially banned the superhero movie because star Gal Gadot is an Israeli who carried out mandatory military service, the New York Times reports. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel and boycotts the country’s products, though previous Gadot films including Fast and Furious movies and Batman vs. Superman, in which she first appears as Wonder Woman, were allowed to appear in Lebanese cinemas. The move came after a formal request from Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy and Trade, the BBC reports.

The ban wasn’t announced until hours before the movie was scheduled to premiere in Lebanon, where it had been promoted for weeks, the Guardian reports. The ban was announced on Twitter by Grand Cinemas, which describes itself as Lebanon’s largest theater chain.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.The move came after pressure from the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon, which called Wonder Woman the “Israeli soldier film” and publicized a 2014 Instagram post from Gadot in which she sent prayers to Israeli Defense Forces troops “who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas.” Gadot, 32, served as an IDF combat trainer for two years starting when she was 20.


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