Power Rangers

Malaysia Okays “Power Rangers” Movie Despite Gay Character

Homosexual acts are currently illegal in the Muslim-majority country.

Power Rangers has been approved for a wide release in Malaysia this week, despite the film being the first big-budget superhero movie to feature an LGBT protagonist.

The ruling comes just one day after the country overturned its previous decision to censor Disney’s Beauty and the Beast because of a small “gay moment” in the live-action reboot.

Disney reps said they wouldn’t make the cuts, instead deciding to not release the film in the Southeast Asian country until its Film Appeals Committee overturned the homophobic ruling.

Power Rangers will now open in Malaysia on Thursday, without cuts, and surprisingly received the same PG-13 rating as Beauty and the Beast. Both ratings are considerably mild for films containing homosexuality, as local rules declare that gay characters are only allowed to appear onscreen if they are portrayed in a negative light or if they show repentance for their sexuality.

It’s not clear if the change in decision stems from the controversy over the original Beauty and the Beast ruling, but the chairman of the censorship board, Abdul Hamid, stands by his original stance.

“Malaysia does not recognize the LGBT ideology, so we have to be extra cautious in our work,” Hamid told the New Straits Times newspaper. “If we let these scenes pass, people will wonder if Malaysia recognizes LGBT.”

h/t: Variety

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.