The Film Talk To Me Has Been Banned In Kuwait Because It Stars Aussie Trans Actor Zoe Terakes

zoe kerakes kuwait

Kuwait has banned the film Talk To Me because it stars trans actor Zoe Terakes. The Australian actor has today responded to the news, detailing how and why this is a devastating move for the trans community.

In an Instagram post alongside an article by The Hollywood Reporter, Terakes notes that this isn’t the first film Kuwait has banned, and that anything with trans or queer themes and scenes probably won’t ever be seen in the Gulf.

While the Nine Perfect Strangers star notes that the exclusion is “devastating and terrifying in its own right”, Terakes also makes a point in saying that Talk To Me doesn’t have any queer themes within the film, and that no mention of their transness or queerness is made at any point.

“I am a trans actor who happened to get the role. I’m not a theme. I’m a person. Kuwait has banned this film due to my identity alone,” Terakes wrote to Instagram.

It appears to be the first time the Gulf has banned a film due to the gender identity of one of its cast members, which isn’t something that’s mentioned in Talk To Me. Terakes identifies as non-binary and trans-masculine.

“It is targeted and dehumanising and means to harm us.

“As much as it is very sad to be on the receiving end of this, what is even more heartbreaking is what this precedent means for the queer and trans people of Kuwait.”

Terakes goes on to discuss why representation is so important and how the elimination of trans people from screens is seriously harmful.

“Eliminating trans actors on screens will not eliminate trans people (as much as the government of Kuwait wishes it would) but it will eliminate a lot of hope.

“And hope is such a large part of how we live as marginalised people. It’s how we learn to move through the hatred and the mistreatment and the violence.”

zoe terakes kuwait talk to me
Image Source: Instagram / @zoeterakes

Talk To Me was released in Australia in October 2022 and has been a hit internationally. It has already been released without any edits in other Gulf territories excluding Kuwait, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

Read Terake’s entire Instagram post here — it’s important and heartbreaking all in one.

Image: Talk To Me, Instagram / @zoeterakes