Vietnam bans Barbie movie for featuring China's nine-dash line

By Mai Nhat   July 3, 2023 | 01:26 am PT
Vietnam bans Barbie movie for featuring China's nine-dash line
Actors Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon and director Greta Gerwig pose for pictures during a photocall for the upcoming Warner Bros. movie "Barbie" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 25, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Warner Bros' highly-anticipated film “Barbie” movie would be banned from distribution in Vietnam for featuring China's nine-dash line that violates Vietnam’s waters sovereignty.

Vi Kien Thanh, director general of Vietnam Cinema Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said Monday that the ban was decided by the National Film Evaluation Council.

The "nine-dash line" has been used by China to illegally claim huge swathes of the South China Sea, known in Vietnam as the East Sea. It has been internationally condemned and rejected.

"Barbie" tells the story of dolls Barbie (played by Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling), who have the time of their lives living in the colorful and seemingly perfect world of Barbie Land. But after having a chance to join the real world, they discover the joy of living among humans.

Supposed to hit Vietnamese theaters on July 21, the picture’s posters have been removed from the websites of movie distributors in Vietnam, including Galaxy and CGV.

In March last year, "Uncharted," starring Tom Holland, faced a similar decision. In July 2021, Netflix Vietnam also had to remove eight episodes of the "Pine Gap" series due to images of the "nine-dash line."

Earlier in 2020, the "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" and "Madam Secretary" series also had several scenes removed due to similar images.

In 2019, the CGV film distributor was fined VND170 million ($7,200) for showing the animated movie "Abominable" with the "nine-dash line." The film had been in theaters for 10 days before it was pulled. Several members of the cinema department were reprimanded for having approved the film in the first place.

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