Malaysia has banned Marvel’s latest movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” from releasing in theaters as the government moves to bolster censorship of LGBTQ content.
Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board (LPF) already banned “Lightyear” from premiering in local theaters earlier this year after requests for cuts to be made to the film were denied by Disney. The “Toy Story” spin-off, which featured Buzz’s friend Alisha Hawthorne in a same-sex marraige, was banned in at least 16 Muslim-majority countries.
In “Thor,” both Valkyrie and Korg caused a stir after Valkyrie is shown ruling Asgard as its openly gay king while Korg finds love with another member of his all-male species.
The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin said on Wednesday that the government and its religious department, the Islamic Affairs Department (JAKIM), would continue to double down on the spread of LGBTQ culture.
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“Recently there was a film that did not pass censorship, that is the new ‘Thor’ film,” he said. “[The movie] touched on LGBT but we see right now there are many films with LGBT elements that slip past the censorship.”
Zahidi also claimed that foreign countries were subtly tying in LGBTQ elements in these movies and blamed them for causing the problem. Those that were found promoting LGBTQ content in the country would have “severe action” taken against them, he warned.
Zahidi confirmed that while the government can dictate what movies are permitted to release in local theaters, it has no control over foreign streaming services that are accessible to Malaysian viewers. “Lightyear” is currently available to stream on Hotstar, Disney’s streaming platform in Malaysia, where it comes with an 18-plus age recommendation.
On the same day that Zahidi made these comments, Human Rights Watch and transgender rights group Justice for Sisters published a report that denounced the government’s criminalization of same-sex conduct and push for conversion therapy.
Featured Image via Marvel