Vietnam bans ‘Barbie’ movie over South China Sea map

Vietnam bans ‘Barbie’ movie over South China Sea map

Vietnam has prohibited the domestic distribution of Warner Bros’ highly-anticipated film “Barbie” due to a scene that displays a map featuring China’s unilaterally claimed territory in the South China Sea, as reported by state media on Monday.

The U-shaped “nine-dash line” is utilized on Chinese maps to depict its claims over extensive areas of the South China Sea, including portions that Vietnam considers its continental shelf, where it has granted oil concessions.

“Barbie” is the most recent movie to be banned in Vietnam for showcasing China’s controversial nine-dash line, which was invalidated by an international arbitration ruling from a court in The Hague in 2016. China refuses to acknowledge the ruling.

In 2019, the Vietnamese government withdrew DreamWorks’ animated film “Abominable,” and last year it banned Sony’s action movie “Unchartered” for the same reason. Additionally, Netflix removed the Australian spy drama “Pine Gap” in 2021.

According to the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper, “Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, was initially scheduled to premiere in Vietnam on July 21, the same date as in the United States.

The paper cited Vi Kien Thanh, the head of the Department of Cinema, a government agency responsible for licensing and censoring foreign films, who stated, “We do not grant a license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to be released in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line.”

Warner Bros has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Vietnam and China have long-standing overlapping territorial claims in a potentially resource-rich area of the South China Sea. The Southeast Asian nation has repeatedly accused Chinese vessels of violating its sovereignty.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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