entertainment

Billy Eichner’s Bros won't be released in Middle East due to gay sex scenes

The region is "notorious for censoring movies over even the slightest hint of LGBTQ themes or content".

2022-09-26

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Universal

Billy Eichner’s gay romantic comedy Bros will not be released in the Middle East due to the film's inclusion of gay sex scenes.

Bros will be making history as the R-rated gay rom-com ever made by a major studio, however, such content is censored from Middle East markets for cultural and commercial reasons.

 
 
 
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It’s not been clear exactly what markets in the Middle East region will be affected, "but it’s likely to include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Kuwait — all of which are notorious for censoring movies over even the slightest hint of LGBTQ themes or content," Variety reported.

The news doesn’t come as such a big shock due to the banning of Lightyear and Onward in several Middle Eastern counties over the inclusion of same-sex relationships. 

Marvel's The Eternals was also banned due to the film including the studio's first same-gender couple: Brian Tyree Henry’s character Phastos has a male partner, who he kisses in the film, and together they have two kids.

Bros follows the romantic relationship of Bobby (Eichner) and Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) as they navigate how to go forward with their relationship as interruptions keep knocking them off course.

 

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro, implied that the non-existent Middle Eastern release of Bros won't leave a huge impact on the film's box office results.

He explains: “Comedies in general tend to lean more heavily on a domestic share of revenue, and in fact, it’s highly likely the studio factored in the expectation of not releasing this film in certain markets when budgeting for production and distribution.”

Ahead of the release of Bros, Eichner also returned to the streets of New York City after a three-year hiatus with his show Billy on the Street, including guest star Paul Rudd.

The film was met with glowing reviews following its Toronto International Film Festival world premiere and currently sits with an impressive 95 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes

Speaking to Attitude back in May, Eichner spoke to the fact it is only now we're getting a studio-produced gay rom-com: "I'm surprised but I'm not surprised because Hollywood has often been such a hypocritical and LGBTQ phobic place. But I'm happy that we're here now."

"And it is a really big sign of progress that the same studio releasing Jurassic World and the Fast and the Furious movies and all these huge global franchises are releasing this very R-rated gay rom-com with as much enthusiasm and passion as they released those movies. That's a really big step."

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.