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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Govt confirms ban hammer falls on Thor over 'LGBT elements'


Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin confirmed that Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ did not pass censorship guidelines.

He said that the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (LPF) did not approve the film due to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elements.

“Recently there was a film that did not pass censorship, that is the new Thor film.

“(The movie) touched on LGBT issues but we see right now there are many films with LGBT elements that slip past the censorship,” Zahidi said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara yesterday.

He was responding to a question from Senator Ahmad Yahaya who asked about the ministry’s stance on monitoring the contents of programmes on streaming platforms such as Netflix.

Zahidi pointed out that films promoting LGBT culture are becoming more subtle in their methods.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin

The deputy minister referenced a film about the historical figure Alexander the Great which he watched in his youth, saying there was a scene where Alexander and his confidant came back from somewhere with “tired faces, as if after doing something” that meant it was promoting LGBT.

“Now there are many films on TV which passed (censorship) that are full of LGBT elements.

“So if there are those that slipped past censorship, we ask the community to help us,” he said.

Policing online content

It is not easy to take action, he added, especially for online content.

Zahidi gave the example of a TikTok account user who he said was promoting LGBT.

“Now we want to take action but they have escaped from the country. That person is the number one promoter but we cannot catch them anymore,” he said.

Despite that, he said, the government along with the Religious Affairs Department are putting in a lot of effort to curb LGBT in the country.

Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) confirmed late last month that there will be no Malaysian release of the new Thor film. It was unclear at the time whether this was due to commercial reasons or pressure from censors.

The movie was initially meant to be screened here on July 7, but this was postponed until July 21, before being ultimately deferred indefinitely.

It should be noted that the movie contains a scene where Chris Hemsworth, who plays the titular character of Thor, is shown naked from behind with his posterior clearly visible.

There are also brief LGBT moments shown in the film, which allude that the character Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, is bisexual and that another character, Korg, is gay. - Mkini

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