Australian actor Zoe Terakes has spoken out after the hit horror film Talk To Me was banned in Kuwait for casting them.
The non-binary transmasculine actor took to Instagram to comment on the situation.
“I’ve been wondering how to respond to this,” they began. “Whether it deserves the dignity of a response.
“This isn’t the first film Kuwait has banned. If there are queer or trans themes or scenes in your film, it’s probably not gonna make it to the Gulf. Which is devastating and terrifying in its own right.”
However, he continued by reminding readers that “our film doesn’t have queer themes”: “Our film doesn’t actually ever mention my transness, or my queerness. I am a trans actor who happened to get the role. I’m not a theme. I’m a person.”
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Terakes called Kuwait’s banning of the film “targeted and dehumanising,” sending support to the “queer and trans people of Kuwait.”
They concluded by urging people to donate to Rainbow Railroad, “an organisation that helps queer and trans people access safety and lives free from persecution worldwide.”
Kuwait has recently come under international criticism for similar actions
Talk to Me is not the only film to face censorship in the country recently.
Box office smash Barbie has faced a delayed release in the country, now currently scheduled to come out on 31 August.
Additionally, an LGBTQ+ scene in last year’s blockbuster Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was cut in Kuwait’s screenings of the film.
Zoe Terakes is also joining the MCU
Terakes has also been cast in Disney+ series Ironheart, in what is expected to be a key role, though further details are yet to be revealed.
Terakes, upon being cast, highlighted the importance of representation for trans youth, in an interview with Collider.
“Growing up I didn’t get to see myself anywhere, so I didn’t really know that I existed. And especially not in a superhero show or movie,” they said.
“I just feel deeply grateful and moved that little trans kids and trans teens have something to look at and to know they exist and to know that they can have superpowers, and that that’s where we belong.”
Terakes also emphasised that trans actors “don’t just belong” in trauma stories “on the fringes dying in things” and added: “We belong there with the big guys. So yeah, it meant a lot to me.”
Ironheart is expected to premiere next year on Disney+.