Vietnam bans Barbie movie over controversial South China Sea map
Film studio Warner Bros’ upcoming Barbie film, starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie, has already taken over social media. But it appears Vietnam has banned its release over a scene featuring a map depicting the controversial ‘nine-dash line’.
The movie about the famous doll isn’t the first one to get banned in Vietnam over the South China Sea map. The Asian country is among numerous others in the region that contest Beijing’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea.
It’s unclear which scene in Barbie features the nine-dash line – often used in Chinese maps of the South China Sea to depict its territorial claims. China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines all have overlapping claims in the sea.
An international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled against the Chinese claims in 2016, but Beijing never recognised the judgement. At the time, the ruling was expected to increase global diplomatic pressure on China to scale back its military expansion in the region.
Barbie is set to release on July 21. The American film wasn’t granted licence for release in Vietnam as it features the “offending image” of the nine-dash line, Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted the head of the Department of Cinema, Vi Kien Thanh, as saying.
Another project, the DreamWorks animated movie ‘Abominable’ was banned by Vietnam in 2019 for the same reason. Moreover, a couple of years back, a complaint from authorities compelled Netflix to remove Australian spy drama ‘Pine Gap’ from the Vietnamese market.