Marvel‘s latest film Thor: Love and Thunder did not pass Malaysia’s censorship guidelines, leading to the superhero blockbuster not being released in the country.
Malaysian Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin told the parliament’s upper house yesterday (August 10) that “(The movie) touched on LGBT but we see right now there are many films with LGBT elements that slip past the censorship,” CNA reports. He followed up his remarks by noting that many films on TV which have passed the censorship process are “full of LGBT elements”.
“So if there are those that slipped past censorship, we ask the community to help us,” he said, noting that it would not be easy to take action against online content.
On July 28, it was announced that Thor: Love and Thunder would indeed not be released in Malaysia following the news earlier that month that Marvel‘s latest feature film would be delayed “indefinitely”. Prior to that, it was scheduled for a delayed release on July 21.
Malaysians on social media reacted negatively to the initial announcement, questioning if a same-sex kissing scene involving the character Valkyrie caused the delay, a reasoning that has now been proven right by the minister’s comments.
Disney Malaysia has yet to make any comment on the decision not to release the film in the country, and it is unclear if the movie will be released on Disney+. Disney’s animated movie Lightyear was also not screened in Malaysia, and although no official statement has released either, it is speculated that the movie was banned for the inclusion of a short same-sex kiss scene.
NME gave Thor: Love and Thunder a four-star rating, with writer James Mottram praising the film’s attention to detail, as Thor confronts issues of “parenthood, relationships, responsibility, and mortality” in what amounts to a coming of age tale for the Asgardian.