Lebanon bans an animated film because of a lesbian kiss … Ignorance continues and expands

This article is part of Spectrum 22, a project dedicated to shedding light on gender, gender and physical diversity and differences in the Middle East and North Africa, in which male and female journalists, activists and members of the LGBT community or their supporters participate, to be a space for free expression of various topics related to sexual and gender orientations and sexual health, to break taboos and to speak objectively about these sharp issues.

The debate over the representation of the LGBT community in the animated films produced by the Walt Disney Company has reached the Lebanese stage, after the film “Light Year”, directed by Angus MacLaine and produced by “Disney-Pixar”, was stopped due to a scene kiss that brought together two cartoon characters of the same sex and the censorship authorities represented by the Lebanese General Security here followed the example of a number of Arab and Islamic countries in banning the new film.

The film is part of the famous animated series, Toy Story, and its heroine is the space guard “Buzz Fly”, and his voice is the famous American actor Chris Evans, and the kiss between the two women in this film is the first kiss that. Disney offers to its viewers, 6 years after introducing the first gay couple in its movie “Zootopia”, 2016.

Representation of marginalized groups based on their ethnic origin or gender identity, including the LGBT community, in animated films produced by the Walt Disney Company in particular, is an issue that has emerged in recent years in the United States, with the advent of human rights discourse by denying discrimination against these groups to Disney, which decided to respond to it and began to highlight characters from these categories, after marginalizing them for decades in its films.

Following the announcement of the ban in Lebanon, a video of American broadcaster Megan Kelly was circulated in the United States, warning parents around the world that their children should not watch movies produced by the Walt Disney Company, for fear that this “would teach children homosexuality and promote its spread ”.

The Lebanese General Security banned the screening of the movie “Light Year”, directed by Angus MacLaine and produced by “Disney-Pixar”, due to a kissing scene that brought together two cartoon characters of the same sex.

The “Fox” speaker appears, who angrily comments on the statements of the head of animation production at Disney, Carrie Burke, in which she confirms the tendency to increase the representation of ethnic minorities and the LGBT community, by at least 50 percent. normal characters in the entertainment giant movies.SUSA, by the end of this year.

Nada Moawad, an education specialist and professor at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, told Raseef22, “There is no way to accept the theory that children and teens who see a gay kiss can make them gay. People are born gay. and sexual orientation is influenced by a number of factors, not necessarily watching TV. homosexuality and discrimination against this group in society ”.

But on what did the Lebanese General Security base the ban on the film? Lawyer Ayman Raad says the regulatory body has relied on “the existence of a loose text in the censorship law issued in 1947, which stipulates that cinematographic works respect public order, morality and good morals.” He adds: “In this way, a security apparatus is given the power to interpret the concept of public morality and good morals, while this apparatus transfers the power to define the concept of morality and good morals to religious authorities, such as the Catholic media. Institute and Dar al-Fatwa.

Over the decades, hundreds of cartoons featuring kisses between two characters of different genders passed smoothly into Lebanese public safety and sparked no negative reaction in society, but heterosexual kissing in cartoons was surrounded by much beauty. for the magic of her story, whether to save a sleeping princess, or to crown the love of Aladdin and Jasmine.

Children and adolescents’ ignorance of homosexuality makes them easier prey for harassment and rape because they are ignorant of the possibility of emotional or sexual feelings between two people of the same sex, as long as they are constantly offered some form of love and relationships.

The Raad warns here that discrimination against homosexuality is a violation of paragraph B of the preamble to the Lebanese Constitution, in which Lebanon clearly respects the United Nations statutes and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and “the state embodies these principles in all fields and fields without exception ”, according to the constitutional text.

He cites the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Council, “which considered that the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, are provisions whose provisions enjoy a parallel constitutional value. to the various provisions of the Constitution and are part of the constitutional bloc “, emphasizing that discrimination and discrimination against LGBT persons – Syri, which is repeated again by banning the film Light Year, violates these three covenants,” and this happens even though the provisions of the Constitution it must transcend all laws ”.

While security authorities justify banning the cartoon with “transgression of morality and morality,” Moawad categorically refuses to consider the fact that a child or teenager learns about the existence of the LGBT community through cartoons. “Who said homosexuality is beyond morality or nature? These laws are made by them?”

The education specialist believes that continuing to “approach the concealment of homosexuality, especially by children and adolescents, rather than talking openly and scientifically about it, leads to an increase in their contract, as the risk does not come from a kiss. but rather the danger of constant ignorance. “

She says that through this removal, authorities and parents harm children, whether they are gay or heterosexual in the future, “because knowing the gay teenager that homosexual orientations exist and are acceptable, helps him to harmonize with himself in a healthy way and avoids very dangerous internal conflicts in the phase of discovering its tendencies. ” He avoids suffering with the rejection and prohibition that surrounds these tendencies in family and society.

In Moawad’s view, introducing the heterogeneous adolescent to the existence of this group in a scientific, sound and open way helps him to build his attitudes and relationships with friends and society on a humanitarian basis, “We are open with our children to these issues.we avoid fear in the first case to give them a chance at peace and security and avoid hatred for the other.In the second case let’s give them the opportunity to be people who accept everyone without discrimination, with the positive impact that this has on their environment, their personality and them as members of society.

Discrimination against homosexuality is a violation of paragraph B of the preamble of the Lebanese Constitution, in which Lebanon clearly respects the United Nations statute and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

She states that “the ignorance of children and adolescents about homosexuality makes them easier prey for harassment and rape, because they are ignorant of the reality of the possibility of emotional or sexual feelings between two people of the same sex, as long as a form and love and relationships are constantly introduced to them and other forms are hidden from them, so they are ignorant of the fact that people of the same sex may desire their gender and therefore they are unable to deal with the bully and they understand his intentions from them. ”

The education specialist recommends banning these films, as well as children and adolescents watching them with their parents, so that parents are present to give scientific answers, according to their level of awareness.

For his part, Raad calls for “the removal of censorship from the General Security Agency and its limitation to judicial authority, in order to change the loose text of the law with a clear and specific text on the principles on which this censorship is based ”, emphasizing that the ultimate goal is to achieve the lifting of the previous censorship on works of art.

As for queer political activist Doumit Al-Qazzi, he believes that what is required is to find a basic political movement that unites marginalized people in society, “to mobilize them around their issues in the face of the repressive regime, one of her tools are repressive security services, and she will not abandon these tools herself, calling for “Breaking his power through organized political action.”

He emphasizes that the ban on the film “Light Year” because of the gay kiss it contains, is part of a discriminatory and repressive policy that does not stop at artistic censorship, but goes beyond it to personal freedoms, pursued by the government system in Lebanon. , to end by saying: “They can stop the movie, but that does not mean We will cease to exist.”

This project is in collaboration with Outright Action International.

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