Why Some Countries Are Banning the ‘Barbie’ Film from Playing in Theaters

Barbie is the second-highest grossing film of the year, but not every country is loving the Margot Robbie-starring movie.

On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Kuwait has moved to ban Barbie from playing in theaters after the country’s film censorship committee chairman Lafi Al-Subaie said Greta Gerwig’s comedy “[carries] ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values.”

Kuwait’s ban of the film comes after Lebanon’s culture minister Mohammad Mortada also moved to restrict Barbie from screening across the country. He claimed the film “promoted homosexuality” and contradicted values related to faith and morality, according to Reuters.

Mortada published an announcement asking Lebanon’s General Security agency, responsible for censorship decisions in the country, to take action to prevent the film from playing in theaters, the outlet reported.

Barbie, which features LGBTQ+ actors Scott Evans, Alexandra Shipp and Hari Nef in addition to leads Robbie, 33, and Ryan Gosling, has also been banned in Vietnam for an entirely separate reason.

Margot Robbie Predicted ‘Barbie’ Would ‘Make a Billion Dollars’ in Early Pitch Meeting

Warner Bros

On July 5, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced it revoked Barbie‘s license to play in theaters over a world map displayed in the film that its government deemed offensive over a long-disputed maritime border with China, per NBC News and Reuters.

A scene set at Weird Barbie’s (Kate McKinnon) home in Barbie Land shows Robbie’s Barbie in front of a crudely drawn world map that features a backward S-shaped line near its depiction of Asia. Vietnam appeared to interpret the image as a “nine-dash line” that illustrates China’s unilateral territorial claim over the South China Sea, which is disputed by a number of countries in the region.

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“We do not grant license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” a Vietnamese state-run newspaper reported on July 3, according to Reuters.

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The outlet reported that Chinese maps use the “nine-dash line” to illustrate the country’s claim over the territory, even though a 2016 ruling by an international court in The Hague rejected the claim.

“The map in Barbie Land is a whimsical, child-like crayon drawing,” Warner Bros. told NBC News in a statement in July. “The doodles depict Barbie’s make-believe journey from Barbie Land to the real world. It was not intended to make any type of statement.”

‘Barbie’ Reaches $1 Billion at Worldwide Box Office 2 Weeks After Release

ANA CRUZ KAYNE as Barbie, SHARON ROONEY as Barbie, ALEXANDRA SHIPP as Barbie, MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie, HARI NEF as Barbie and EMMA MACKEY as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “BARBIE,”

Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Robbie responded to fan theories that Ken (Gosling) is gay in an interview with British LBGTQ magazine Attitude ahead of the film’s release, in which she noted that while Barbie is inclusive, all of the characters in Barbie Land “are dolls.”

“So, they don’t have actually have sexual orientations because they don’t have any reproductive organs, we figured,” she said at the time.

The film is opening in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday after local censors suggested some edits to the film that delayed its originally intended release on July 21, as The Hollywood Reporter reported. The outlet noted that it remains unclear whether parts of the film had been cut in order for it to release in those countries.

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Barbie is in theaters across the U.S. now.

Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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