Why Did Malaysia ban Thor: Love and Thunder?

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In case you haven’t seen it, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is a movie that’s divided a lot of longtime Marvel fans — with some believing it’s too campy and humorous at times, while others view the film as a much-needed breath of fresh air for the MCU.

But there’s also something else about the Taika Waititi-directed flick that has not only perturbed viewers but entire countries. And at this point, you can probably guess why.

Taika Waititi
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock (10351555fk)
Taika Waititi
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Annual Grants Banquet, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA – 31 Jul 2019

Back in early July 2022, Looper reported on the sad and very realistic possibility that certain nations across the globe would be blocking the “Thor: Love and Thunder” release due to some of its subject matter.

Since then, thousands of theaters in China and the Middle East have reportedly followed suit and decided to scrap the film. One of the most recent countries to hand down a ban was Kuwait, with its Cinema Committee in the Ministry of Information announcing its reason why in a late July 2022 statement.

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The “Love and Thunder” pushback has ultimately come at no surprise, with countless reports all predicting that there’d be numerous nations ticked off with Waititi’s portrayal of certain “Thor” characters. Now, a Southeast Asian country has been added to the list for the same unsurprising reasons.

Malaysia bans Thor: Love and Thunder after Disney refuses to edit out LGBTQ representation.

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According to Variety, Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board (LPF) has decided to cancel the release of “Thor: Love and Thunder” in the Southeast Asian country after Disney reportedly refused to make cuts to the film.

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Sources told the media outlet that the LPF had asked for changes related to the movie’s LGBTQ representation — much like they did with “Lightyear” earlier this year due to a same-sex kiss that was featured — but the Mickey Mouse company denied the request. Malaysian theater operator Golden Screen Cinemas, which is the largest theater chain in Malaysia, announced the move on social media late Wednesday, July 28.

“Dear valued customers, please be informed that Disney has updated that Marvel Studios’ Thor Love and Thunder’ will not be releasing in Malaysia after all,” the chain said. “We appreciate your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

In mid-July, theater reps announced that the LPF had postponed the release of “Love and Thunder” and were waiting to hear back from Disney about the edits. The studio giant apparently handed down its decision this week but refused to comment on the situation, per Variety.

The move will surely send Malaysia’s movie business into even more of a freefall following years of massive losses from COVID-19-related setbacks. Variety reports that the country’s theater attendance was 3.72 million for 2021, down from 77 million per year between 2017-2019.

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Released on July 8, the “Love and Thunder” backlash and cancellations have ultimately caused audiences and Marvel stars to rally around the “Thor” sequel and shower it with support. “This, this film right here. I love it,” tweeted “Daredevil” and “Hawkeye” star Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays Kingpin. “Love & Thunder.

Absolutely Bonkers, and that’s why I love it,” wrote “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” star Xochitl Gomez, who plays America Chavez, on her Instagram page.

Some people have even called for Disney and Marvel to up the LGBTQ ante in wake of the “Love and Thunder” hate. “Thor Love and Thunder has the most basic surface level LGBTQ allusions in all of Disney,” tweeted Jessie Earl. “Screw ’em, give us a full meal. They’ll whine the same either way.”

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