Powers Rangers’ ‘gay superhero’ may see it banned in Malaysia

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PETALING JAYA: A new controversy is brewing with the much-anticipated Powers Rangers movie containing what Hollywood is calling the first “openly gay superhero”.

Coming hot on the heels of the controversy over Beauty and the Beast, the first Disney movie to feature a character who is gay, the Power Rangers’ Yellow ranger Trini, played by actor and singer Becky G, is depicted as having “girlfriend problems” in the film, according to early movie reviews.

As such the movie is believed to have come under closer scrutiny in Malaysia.

Both major cinema chains in the country, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and Tanjong Golden Village (TGV), have held back the movie from its originally-scheduled release date of March 23.

The websites for both cinema chains have also not put up tickets for sale as is the usual practice.

“To avoid any issues that may arise, we pulled (the movie) from the cinema listing at the moment, as the film is still undergoing the Malaysian Censorship Board’s (LPF) review,” TGV Pictures’ marketing manager Grace Tan told the News Straits Times earlier this week.

Yesterday, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz was quoted as saying that he was disappointed with the censorship board.

“I am really depressed with what’s happening with our censorship board. We never appointed the censorship board to be our moral guardian,” Nazri told reporters when asked about the latest controversy involving the Power Rangers movie.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the LPF conceded to an appeal made by Disney and agreed to leave Beauty and The Beast as it was without any censorship and approved it for screening in Malaysia.

It was previously reported that the movie will be given a P13 rating even after the so-called “gay moment” was cut, meaning children aged 13 and below must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

It is not known if the uncut version will carry a similar rating or if the age restriction will be raised.

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