“Vietnam Bans ‘Barbie’ Movie Due to Controversial Nine-Dash Line Scene”

While people have been going gaga over the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures movie, ‘Barbie,’ Vietnam has banned any commercial screenings of the fantasy comedy. The ban is issued due to a scene in the movie portraying a map of the South China Sea with the “nine-dash line” disputed by the Vietnamese government.

Vietnam falls under the list of nations that contest China’s claim to most of the South China Sea. In 2016, a court in The Hague rejected the U-shaped line in an international arbitration ruling. However, China refuses to accept the verdict.

BBC reported that it remains unclear which particular scene illustrates what a senior official referred to as an “offensive image” of China’s nine-dash line.

Deadline reported that the director general of the Vietnam Cinema Department, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vi Kien Thanh, confirmed that the ban was determined by Vietnam’s National Film Evaluation Council.

According to a state-run newspaper ‘Tuoi Tre,’ Vi Kien Thanh said,

“We do not grant a licence for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line.”

The movie ‘Barbie,’ which is based on the Barbie fashion dolls by Mattel, marks to be the first live-action Barbie film and was initially set to be released in Vietnam on July 21, 2023.

However, this is not the first movie to receive such backlash in Vietnam due to the “nine-dash line” issue. In recent years, DreamWorks animation ‘Abominable’ and Sony’s ‘Unchartered’ faced bans in Vietnam, along with the removal of the Australian spy drama, ‘Pine Gap’ from Netflix in Vietnam in 2021.

‘Barbie’ is directed by Greta Gerwig and features Margot Robbie in the character of Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. The movie will be premiered in Los Angeles on July 9, 2023, and will have its worldwide theatrical release on July 21, 2023.

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