[ UPDATE 8/09/2022 18:22 ] Thor: Love and Thunder now streaming in Malaysia via Disney+ Hotstar.
It’s official! Marvel’s latest movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, did not screen in Malaysian cinemas because of its LGBT themes. Malaysia’s Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, Zahidi Zainul Abidin, revealed that the reason during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara on 10 August.
“Lately, there was a movie that failed to pass our censorship (board), and that was the latest Thor movie… because it mentioned LGBT but we see right now there are many films with LGBT elements that slip past the censorship,” said Zahidi.
The LGBT themes in question—if you don’t mind Thor: Love and Thunder spoilers—as revealed here on Entertainment Weekly’s site. It seems to be pretty similar to the LGBT themes in Lightyear—also a Disney film that was banned in Malaysian theatres this year.
Zahidi also mentioned that LGBT elements in films are “taking on a more subtle form”. He even cited a movie in his youth that featured Alexander the Great—where it was suggested that two men had an intimate encounter.
“That’s how they promote LGBT. Now there are many films on television, that passed (censorship), are full of LGBT elements… So if there are those that slipped past censorship, we ask the community to help us,” continued Zahidi.
In additon to asking the community to spot LGBT themes in movies that passed censors, the minister also plans to crack down on TikTok. According to him, the ministry will take action against individuals who promote LGBT culture on the platform.
“We have taken action against such people but they have run to another country,” he said.
However, Zahidi said that the government does not have control over companies with online streaming platforms based abroad, like Netflix. He added that parents and guardians are responsible to prevent their children or loved ones from being exposed to such content, suggesting they apply password locks on those platforms.
He also urged Malaysians to exercise self-control and use their own judgment before viewing such content. Why the same type of advice isn’t used for films in theatres is beyond me.
Previously, there was no reason given to why Thor: Love and Thunder wasn’t being shown in Malaysian cinemas—we just had an inkling. But in any case, since we can already watch Lightyear on Disney+ Hotstar, it won’t be long before we’re able to watch the new Thor on the same platform.