‘Barbie’ movie banned in Vietnam over scene including disputed map

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HANOI: Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated movie “Barbie” has been banned in Vietnam, New York Post reported.

The film, directed by Greta Gerwig, was set to hit theatres in Vietnam on July 21, aligning with its big-screen release in most countries around the world.

Vietnam state media, however, announced that the movie will not be released due to a scene that includes a map using the “nine-dash line”, a set of line segments that represent China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Vietnam claims violates its sovereignty.

“We do not grant license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” said Vietnam state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper citing the head Department of Cinema Vi Kien Thanh.

Vi Kien Thanh said the decision was decided by Vietnam’s National Film Evaluation Council.

The U-shaped line, which was first seen on maps in 1947, includes parts that Vietnam sees as its continental shelf, where it has awarded oil concessions.

As per New York Post, the line is highly controversial as many of China’s neighbours, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, have competing and overlapping territorial claims, and the Chinese territory is contested.

“Barbie” isn’t the first film to face problems with its release in Vietnam over the “nine-dash line” dispute.

In 2019, DreamWorks’ “Abominable” was banned for the same reason, while Sony’s “Unchartered” was blocked last year. TV series “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” and “Madam Secretary” was told to delete certain scenes containing the map in 2020, and Netflix had to remove the Australian spy drama “Pine Gap” from streaming in Vietnam in 2021, as per New York Post. (ANI)

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