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HomeEntertainment‘Barbie’ movie banned in Vietnam over scene including disputed map

‘Barbie’ movie banned in Vietnam over scene including disputed map

Warner Bros.’ highly-anticipated “Barbie” movie has been banned in Vietnam.

The film, directed by Greta Gerwig, was set to hit theaters in the country on July 21, aligning with the cinematic release in most countries around the world.

However, state media announced the movie will not be released due to a scene that includes a map using the “nine-dash line” — a set of line segments that represent China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea — which Vietnam claims violates its sovereignty.

“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,” state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said, citing Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Cinema (via Reuters).

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Vi Kien Thanh said the decision was decided by the National Film Evaluation Council.


“Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig, was set to hit theaters in Vietnam on July 21, aligning with the cinematic release in most countries around the world.
Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

ANKARA, TURKIYE - JANUARY 06: An infographic titled "South China Sea a hotbed of sovereignty disputes between China, coastal countries" created in Ankara, Turkiye on January 06, 2023.
Vietnam banned “Barbie” due to a scene that includes a map using the “nine-dash line.”
Omar Zaghloul/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U-shaped line, which was first seen on maps in 1947, includes parts that Vietnam sees as its continental shelf, where it has awarded oil concessions.

The line is highly controversial as many of China’s neighbors — including Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam — have competing and overlapping territorial claims, and the Chinese territory is contested.

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“Barbie” isn’t the first release to cause problems in Vietnam over the “nine-dash line” dispute.


"Barbie," starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, will be released in theaters July 21.
“Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, will be released in theaters on July 21.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Simu Liu, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in "Barbie."
Simu Liu, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in “Barbie.”
Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

BARBIE, US character poster, Margot Robbie as Barbie, 2023
Warner Bros.’ highly-anticipated “Barbie” movie has been banned in Vietnam.
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2019, DreamWorks’ “Abominable” was banned for the same reason, while Sony’s “Unchartered” was blocked last year. TV series “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” and “Madam Secretary” were told to delete certain scenes containing the map in 2020, and Netflix had to remove the Australian spy drama “Pine Gap” in Vietnam in 2021.

“Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, will be released in theaters on July 21.

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