Vietnam banned the Margot Robbie-led blockbuster
Vietnam has recently enforced a ban on the highly anticipated movie Barbie, led by the talented Margot Robbie. The film has faced accusations of featuring “offensive political imagery” due to its potential references to the territorial dispute between Hanoi and China. One particular scene in the movie displays a map showcasing a U-shaped section of the South China Sea, commonly referred to as the “nine-dash line.” While China claims this area as its own, Vietnam and the majority of the international community hold a different perspective on the matter, as reported by Semafor.
The director of Vietnam’s Cinema Department made an official announcement regarding the cancellation of the movie, citing the portrayal of an “illegal cow’s tongue line,” also known as the “nine-dash line.” The ban on Barbie was implemented due to its “content that distorts the truth, violates the law in general, and infringes upon Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty in particular.” This decision found support among some movie viewers in Vietnam.
In contrast, China perceives the nine-dash line as a symbol of patriotism, leading to applause for Barbie’s inclusion of the controversial map. On the Chinese social media platform Weibo, several users praised the film for its depiction of the line, stating that it takes the “right side on an important matter.” Another individual remarked, “I initially had no interest in the film, but now I must see it,” as per Semafor’s report.
Notably, this is not the first time Vietnam has banned a movie for similar reasons. In 2019, the DreamWorks production Abominable faced a ban in Hanoi due to its depiction of the disputed nine-dash line on a map. This decision occurred during a period of heightened tensions between China and Vietnam, primarily driven by Chinese encroachments into Vietnamese waters. Furthermore, Vietnam also banned the Tom Holland-led film Uncharted last year, which was projected to generate approximately $15 million in revenue from China.
The movie Barbie revolves around the eponymous doll, portrayed by the talented Margot Robbie, as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The star-studded cast includes Ryan Gosling as Ken, along with renowned actors such as Issa Rae, Emma Mackey, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Kinglsey Ben-Adir, and John Cena, each portraying various versions of the beloved dolls. Additionally, Helen Mirren, Michael Cera, and Emerald Fennell also contribute their talents to the film.
Vietnam banned the Margot Robbie-led blockbuster Barbie. They accused the film of portraying “offensive political imagery” because of its potential allusions to Hanoi’s territorial dispute with China. A scene in the film shows a map with a U-shaped section of the South China Sea, what they call a “nine-dash line.” China claims this is their territory, but Vietnam and most of the world disagreesper Semafor.
The director of Vietnam’s Cinema Department announced the movie’s cancellation because it showed an “illegal cow’s tongue line,” also commonly known as the “nine-dash line.” Vietnam banned Barbie because the “content that distorts the truth, violates the law in general, and violates Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty in particular.” Some Vietnam movie viewers agreed with the decision.
As for China, the nine-dash line is a symbol of patriotism, so they lauded Barbie for the map portrayal. On the Chinese social media site Weibo, some user praised Barbie for the line and “picking the right side on an important matter.” Another said: “I initially had no interest in the film but now I must see it,” Semafor reported.
In 2019, Hanoi, Vietnam also banned the DreamWorks film Abominable for similar reasons. Viewers saw a map showing the disputed nine-dash line, leading to its cancellation. This was during heightened tensions between China and Vietnam because of Chinese incursions into Vietnamese waters. And last year, Vietnam banned Uncharted, the Tom Holland-led film, which was forecasted to make about $15 million in China.
Barbie tells the story of its titular doll (played by Margot Robbie) as she goes on a journey of self-discovery. Ryan Gosling stars as Ken and the film is filled with A-listers playing various variants of the dolls including Issa Rae, Emma Mackey, Dua Lipa, Simu Liu, Kinglsey Ben-Adir, and John Cena. Helen Mirren, Michael Cera, and Emerald Fennell also have roles in the film.