Go to contents

Vietnam bans the screening of Barbie

Posted July. 05, 2023 07:52,   

Updated July. 05, 2023 07:52

한국어

Vietnam, currently in dispute with China over territorial rights in the South China Sea, has banned screening the Hollywood film "Barbie" (photo) due to scenes depicting China's unilateral territorial claims.

According to Reuters and other sources on Monday, the authorities announced the ban on the upcoming release of "Barbie" by Warner Bros on July 21, citing that the film contained imagery related to the "nine-dash line." The screening schedule for Barbie has disappeared simultaneously from major theaters.

The nine-dash line refers to the nine virtual boundary lines drawn by China in a U-shape in the South China Sea. China unilaterally claims these areas as its territorial waters, causing friction with countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. China has been prohibiting the fishing activities of vessels from these Southeast Asian countries and has been rapidly constructing artificial reefs for military bases.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled against China, stating that there is no legal basis for its claims, but China continues to ignore this ruling. Vietnam is engaged in a more intense conflict with China compared to other countries over the Paracel Islands (known as Xisha Islands in China), Spratly Islands (known as Nansha Islands in China), and other disputed territories.

Vietnam has previously banned the screening of movies such as "Uncharted" starring Tom Holland in March last year, the Australian drama "Pine Gap" in 2021, and the DreamWorks animation "Abominable" in 2019 for similar reasons. However, it is unclear which scenes in Barbie feature the nine-dash line or if Chinese capital was involved in making the film.

Barbie is a movie that tells the story of the famous doll Barbie embarking on a journey to find her true self. It stars actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, with director Greta Gerwig, known for directing "Little Women," at the helm.


purple@donga.com