Gal Gadot's latest big screen endeavor titled "Death on the Nile," which earned over $12.8 million in domestic box office sales over the weekend, will not be showing in two Middle Eastern countries.
Lebanon and Kuwait will not be showing the sequel to 2017's "Murder on the Orient Express," which stars Gadot, Tom Bateman, Kenneth Branagh, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, and Letitia Wright among other stars.
The Ridley Scott-produced, Branagh-directed film has been blocked in Lebanon and Kuwait over Gadot's two years of service in the Israeli Armed Forces, which is mandated by her native country, Faithwire reported.
This is not the first time Gadot's films were not shown in Middle Eastern countries over her links to the Israeli Armed Forces. Lebanon banned the 2017 film "Wonder Woman" and its 2020 sequel "Wonder Woman 1984." "Wonder Woman" was also banned in Qatar.
The Daily Mail reported last week that as per Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper, the decision to block the film from being shown in the country came after demands on social media grew. Officials in the country then decided that they won't allow a film starring "a former soldier in the Zionist occupying army."
The 36 year old actress, who was crowned Miss Israel in 2004, served two years in the IDF before launching her acting career and first became known as Gisele Yashar in 2009's "Fast & Furious." But social media users in Kuwait criticized Gadot's praise of the IDF during the 2014 in Gaza, which left 2,251 dead among Palestinians and 74 dead in Israel.
At the time, Gadot praised Israel's military, sending prayers for the Israeli soldiers who, according to her, were "risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas." Kuwait has long been a supporter of the Palestinian cause and has been opposed to peace talks with Israel, unlike its Gulf neighbors, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
In May last year, Gadot also faced criticism after she showed her support for Israel as citizens of the Jewish state defended themselves against attacks from the Hamas militant group on the Gaza strip. The actress wrote, "My heart breaks. My country is at war. I worry for my family, my friends. I worry for my people."
"This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long. Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation," Gadot wrote on Twitter. "Our neighbors deserve the same."
But many social media users took aim at her and labeled her as a "war criminal" and "a disgrace to everything 'Wonder Woman' is supposed to stand for" after stating her alliance with Israel, a country where she was born.
In 2020, Gadot faced backlash after she was cast in the titular role of Cleopatra, another project she is working on with "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins, who recently stepped back as director of the upcoming film but will still be involved as a producer.