'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' may be banned in China due to LGBT themes

Actress Michaela Coel says she was 'sold' on her role because Marvel said her character would be queer. Photo: Handout

The most anticipated superhero film of the year Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has hit cinemas around world on Thursday (Nov 10), and fans as well as critics are responding positively to the movie.

Amidst all this however, its fate in China is yet to be decided. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel’s latest instalment faces the possibility of being banned in China due to the brief depiction of openly queer characters.

In the film, it is implied that Wakandan warrior Aneka (Michaela Coel) and veteran warrior Ayo (Florence Kasumba) are in a relationship. THR reported that this scene was edited out in Kuwait for its release in the country.

Actress Coel revealed in an interview with Vogue last month that she was “sold” on her role because Marvel said her character would be queer.

Wakanda Forever wouldn’t be the first Marvel film to be blacklisted by China’s censorship board. Among the films that were banned for its LGBT elements include Thor: Love And Thunder, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness and Eternals.

China’s censorship board has a long history of restricting certain themes in an effort to preserve traditional values in its culture.

Last year, USA Today reported that China's National Radio and Television Administration used a degrading term for effeminate men and told TV broadcasters to “put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics”.

Wakanda Forever dominated the box office in its first weekend of release earning US$180mil (RM825mil) in the United States and US$150mil globally (RM688mil).

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