(Dubai) The latest episode of the spider-man saga Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, featuring a scene featuring a poster supporting transgender people, will not be shown in theaters in the United Arab Emirates, it said on Friday a cinema company.

The animated film was due for release this month in the wealthy Gulf state, which regularly touts itself as a champion of tolerance and coexistence in the Middle East.

“Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse will not be released in the United Arab Emirates,” VOX Cinema, one of the region’s leading cinema companies, told AFP, without giving further details.

The animated film had sparked reactions online due to a scene featuring a blue, pink and white flag with the inscription in English: “Protect transgender children”.

“Warning to mothers and fathers”, warned a famous lawyer on Twitter, Habib Al-Mulla, deploring “the promotion of homosexuality and transgender people”. “Pay attention to your children,” he insisted.

On Monday, the Media Regulatory Office warned that it “would not allow the broadcast or publication of content contrary to the values” of the Muslim country, where more than three-quarters of the population are expatriates from around the world.

This body of the Ministry of Culture, which issues operating visas, did not give details and did not respond to questions from AFP.

In June last year, he banned the screening of the animated film Buzz Lightyear, featuring a kiss between two women, citing a “violation of current media content standards”.

In September, he also protested Netflix’s “shocking content”, promising “necessary action” if it violates “Emirati society values”.

The proliferating references to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) communities in major American productions have sparked strong reactions in the Middle East, particularly in the wealthy and conservative oil monarchies of the Gulf.

The latest Spider-Man is not scheduled to be released on movie company sites in the other Gulf countries: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

In 2021, the United Arab Emirates, with a Ministry of Tolerance, had however announced the end of censorship in the cinema, after having long cut scenes considered to be an attack on morals.