The Middle East nation of Lebanon will not allow Wonder Woman into its theaters -- and the reason why is sad and disappointing.
According to Deadline, Wonder Woman will not be shown in Lebanon because star Gal Gadot is Israeli -- not only that, but she served in the Israeli army as well (most Israeli citizens, male or female, must serve at least two years). The news was confirmed on Twitter by a Lebanese theater chain called Grand Cinemas.
Since Lebanon is officially at war with Israel, the former has a law on the books that unequivocally calls for the boycotting of Israeli products while also barring Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having any contact with Israelis. Under that regulation, the Lebanese Ministry of Economy has said no to showings of the latest DC superhero epic.
Strangely enough, this has not happened with Gadot’s earlier movies, including Fast and Furious 6, Fast Five, Criminal and, yes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which she made her debut as Diana of Themyscira. A group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon did in fact try to get BvS yanked from theaters last year but failed; this time, perhaps because Gadot is the star and is front and center in every piece of Wonder Woman marketing, they were successful (the organization cited Gadot's stint in the army as well as her support of Israel's military policy in the Gaza Strip as prime factors in demanding the ban).
Wonder Woman was apparently scheduled to play in just 15 theaters in Lebanon, so the impact on the movie's bottom line will be minimal. It's too bad, however, that fans there who have been waiting to see the film won't get their chance. This is not the place to debate the nature of the issues between Lebanon and Israel, but art of any kind can usually transcend borders, cultural divides and, yes, sometimes even wars. Not this time, though -- it seems as if even Wonder Woman herself can't solve this one.