Disney has extended their ban on depicting smoking in films to the Marvel and Star Wars subsidiaries.
Abraham Lincoln can smoke in Disney movies but Tony Stark has been banned from lighting up a celebratory cigar. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced future Disney films will not feature any smoking, in order to protect children from images which may glamorise and encourage smoking. Iger made the announcement at the annual shareholder's meeting on Thursday (12th March).
Smoking will not be permitted in any future Marvel films such as any Avenger sequels.
Disney already has a policy against depicting smoking in place but one shareholder pointed out a number of the Marvel films feature characters with cigarettes or cigars. The investor, speaking at the meeting, claimed 43% of Marvel films featured smoking, as the Independent reports.
Iger confirmed the existing ban will be extended to all subsidiaries of Disney including Marvel and Star Wars. "We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board: Marvel, Lucas, Pixar and Disney films," Iger said (via Independent).
However, there are exceptions to the revised policy. If smoking is appropriate in a historical context, it will be permitted.
"Except when we are depicting a historical figure who may have smoked at the time of his life," Iger explained. "For instance, if we were doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable."
Furthermore, it is not certain if characters that have already been on screen smoking will be subject to this ban. Iger suggested the ban may focus entirely on new characters created for films.
In addition to the news of the smoking ban, Iger also revealed the release date of Star Wars VIII. The film is due to be released on 26th May 2017. Iger also revealed another Star Wars spin-off, Star Wars: Rogue One, will begin filming this summer.
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