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While there are a number of TV shows today that could be banned and it wouldn’t shock us for a minute, other countries have more strict regulations when it comes to what they allow their citizens to view — especially when it comes to kid shows and even more so since it was more than two decades ago. In all honesty, the reasons are more shocking than the ban.
In fact, just as the classic Power Rangers was making its way into most TV screens, Malaysia stopped them in their tracks and banned them from airing in their country. While it would make sense given its promotion of violence, it was actually the title they had a problem with!
The premise of ‘Power Ranger’
Bringing a group of young superheroes to the small TV for children (almost) everywhere, the Power Rangers made its TV debut in 1993 as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The show followed a group of teenagers who acquire superpowers and come together to take on various great evils and defend the world from harm.
They not only kick butt in fights with some of the toughest villains in the show but learn how to work together and preserver through the toughest times, making them closer than ever. The series would go on to have several spin-offs and reboots in the decades to come.
The country that banned the show
The country that banned the release of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when it was first airing was Malaysia. A small country in Southeast Asia that’s separated into two regions — Peninsular Malaysia (East Malaysia) and Malaysia Timur (West Malaysia). To give you more of an idea of what Malaysia is all about, let’s dive into 11 other things that are illegal in the country, according to Culture Trip — you will be shocked by many of them!
They include jaywalking, alcohol, accepting food and drink before or after voting, drunken behavior, film and TV with religious, sexual, and violent overtones, naming your baby after a fruit, indecent exposure, obscene songs, non-Muslims using ‘Allah’ for God, attempting suicide, and setting up shop in parking lots. Then there’s the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, of course.
Why Malaysia banned ‘Power Rangers’
You’d think the problem with Power Rangers would have been the constant violence (even if it was obviously fake and scripted) between good and evil that was presented in a kid’s show, but Malaysia had another reason for the country ban.
“Malaysian officials determined that the word ‘morphin’ — which is meant to be catchy shorthand for ‘morphing’ — sounded too similar to the drug ‘morphine,’ and that it was inappropriate for a kids show to have a title that could be confused with the name of the drug,” Screen Rant reports on the ban, “Interestingly, other nations — including the U.K. — had a similar issue, but most of them were fine after a simple title change. Whether Malaysia didn’t allow the show to be resubmitted under a different name, or the show’s production company never even bothered to try, is unclear.”
However, they also report that the 2017 Power Rangers film did make its way into the theaters in Malaysia, so it’s likely that there was some sort of mix preventing the title change at the time. Nonetheless, it’s a valid reason, but unfortunate for the kids who didn’t get to grow up with the overly exaggerated fight moves and horrible villain costumes that we all loved so much.
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