M’sia Minister Finally Explained Why Thor: Love and Thunder is Banned in M’sia


Alas, the speculation is over. We finally know why Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder was banned in Malaysia from being shown on the big screen.

Thor’s Butt is Not To Be Blamed

A week after the film was originally set to release in theatres, it was announced in Malaysia that it would be postponed.

However, by 21 July, the expected new release date, film timings were still unavailable to the disappointment of Marvel fans. It was only on 28 July when it was finally announced by cinema chains in Malaysia via social media posts that the movie would not be released in Malaysia after all.

Since then, much speculation has come from Malaysians and kaypoh Singaporeans as to why the government and Disney pulled the plug on this widely anticipated film.

Some people who have watched the film pointed out that there were scenes of brief nudity in the movie, even though nothing explicit was shown. However, you could still see Thor’s butt in one scene.

Twitter (@JoshuaYehl)

Others took the view that perhaps it was the prevention of competition that led to the decision. The Malaysian film, Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan was released around that time and had garnered stellar reviews.

Hence, some suggested that Disney wanted to withhold Thor’s release as it was afraid the film wouldn’t be able to compete against it in the box office. It had also became the highest-grossing Malaysian film of all time, raking in RM90 million across Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

However, this too, was not the real reason.

LGBT Scenes Did Not Pass the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia’s Approval

The Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister of Malaysia, Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that the latest Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder had not passed the censorship guidelines required for it to be allowed to be screened in the country. 

The guidelines are stipulated by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia (LPF), and prohibit films with elements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) from being shown in the country.

Perhaps this does not come as a surprise to some, as the announcement signals the second time in a month that a Disney-handled movie hasn’t been released in Malaysia. Previously, Malaysia also did not screen Pixar’s Lightyear due to a same-sex kiss scene.

In a question-and-answer event held in the parliament’s Upper House earlier this week, on August 10, M Zahidi commented on the cancellation:

“(Thor: Love and Thunder) touched on the topic of LGBT…but we see right now that there are many films with LGBT elements that slip past the censorship.”

Malaysia Government Commits to Banning more LGBT Films Following This

M Zahidi also pointed out that movies which promote LGBT culture are using increasingly more subtle ways of getting the message across.

“Now there are many films on TV which have 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 added. 

Zahidi said that government and the religious department, known as the Islamic Affairs Department or “JAKIM”, were committed to curtailing the spread of LGBT culture in the country, in lieu of foreign film companies releasing more films with such elements.


“I am frustrated because the outside world was the one promoting LGBT,” he said in response to a question in Parliament.

According to him, the government has always kept vigilant in monitoring films and social media platforms for LGBT content and “would take severe action against individuals found promoting such elements.”

He also acknowledges, however, that due to the rise of online content and streaming services like Netflix which are based outside of the country, it is not always easy to do so.

It is known that both Thor: Love and Thunder and Pixar’s Lightyear were submitted by distributor Disney for classification and censorship by the country’s LPF. According to Variety, in both cases, the LPF had asked for cuts which the studio chose not make, resulting in the eventual cancellation of both films from a theatrical release. The animated film Lightyear was also banned in 16 or more Muslim-majority countries.

The Malaysian government’s enduring efforts to censoring LGBT content puts the country increasingly at odds with Hollywood studios and U.S. producers.


In alignment with the ongoing liberal movement in their social landscape today, films from the west have been increasingly representative of minorities in the past decade, placing the spotlight on those who were formally discriminated against, such as the LGBT group and racial minorities.

To the Malaysians who are bummed by the cancellation of Thor, maybe wait and see if it’s eventually released on Disney+, or take a trip across the boarder and come watch it in Singapore.

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Featured Image: Twitter (@JoshuaYehl), Disney Films