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Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg at the Los Angeles premiere of West Side Story, held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on December 07, 2021.Jesse Grant / Stringer / Getty

(LifeSiteNews) — Residents of a handful of Middle Eastern countries will not be able to review the woke remake of the “West Side Story,” likely due to the film’s use of a “transgender” character named Anybodys.

The gender dysphoric character is not in the original 1957 version of the play or 1961 movie about clashes between two ethnic gangs in New York City.

The 2021 movie version “has been banned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait,” Variety reported. “In some cases, like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the film wasn’t granted a release certificate. In other countries, such as Qatar and Oman, Disney refused to comply with cuts requested by censors.”

The magazine said it is likely because “censors weren’t on board with Anybodys, a character who is transgender and portrayed by non-binary actor Iris Menas.”

The movie has flopped out of the gate, making just over $10.5 million despite a $100 million budget. In addition to the inclusion of a gender dysphoric character, director Steven Spielberg also decided not to use English subtitles when Spanish is used in the movie.

“If I subtitled the Spanish I’d simply be doubling down on the English and giving English the power over the Spanish,” Spielberg said in one interview.

“In the new movie, Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner work to correct the original musical and movie’s stereotypical depictions,” NBC News reported, “adding more specificity and historical context around the Puerto Rican experience, and around the issues of racism and racial hostility.”

Commentators have blamed the lack of interest on fear of contracting COVID at the movie theatre. “The biggest obstacle facing ‘West Side Story’ is — and will continue to be — convincing older audiences to go to theaters,” Variety magazine opined.

Deadline theorized that adults are afraid to go to the theatres due to COVID – and are also occupied with going to parties and shopping.

“Aside from opening in a marketplace where adults are still cautious because of Covid, West Side Story’s biggest hurdle as of this minute are holiday season distractions, i.e. shopping, parties,” Box Office Editor Anthony D’Alessandro wrote.