Malaysian Government Bans Gay TV Characters

New restrictions will extend to foreign shows and movies that “go against the norm of a religious society.”

Malaysia’s Information Department has banned TV shows featuring gay characters, deputy information, communications and culture minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz told the Star newspaper.

The ban is effective immediately with state-owned TV and radio stations, he said. No specifics about which shows will be affected were revealed, but the ban will likely be expanded to cover privately-owned stations as well as satellite TV providers.

"If it means canceling some of the shows, so be it," he said. The decision was to curb the "influence" of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, he added.

As for foreign productions, he said the Censorship Board will remove indivudual episodes from current TV shows and bar movies with gay characters from being screened locally.

"Effective immediately, radio and TV stations are asked to stop screening shows which feature gay, effeminate men as well as characters that go against the norm of a religious society because this encourages and promotes LGBT now," said the directive according to the Star newspaper.

Maglin said the Information Department will produce guidelines about avoiding putting LGBT characters on screen or the airwaves.

When asked about programs and TV shows hosted by men with effeminate characteristics and mannerisms, D’Cruz appeared to contradict himself when he said they would be allowed, "because they are born this way.”

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