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Vietnam’s Ban on Warner Bros’ Barbie (2023) Movie Due to South China Sea Map – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Barbie (2023) | Vietnam bans Warner Bros’ ‘Barbie’ movie over South China Sea map

Vietnam has prohibited the domestic release of Warner Bros’ much-anticipated film, “Barbie,” due to a scene displaying a map that includes 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 part of its continental shelf, where it has granted oil concessions.

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

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

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

“We have not granted a license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to be released in Vietnam due to the inclusion of the offensive image of the nine-dash line,” stated Vi Kien Thanh, the head of the Department of Cinema, a governmental organization responsible for licensing and censoring foreign films, as reported by the paper.

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

Vietnam and China have long-standing overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, a region with significant energy potential. The Southeast Asian nation has repeatedly accused Chinese vessels of violating its sovereignty.

Vietnam has banned Warner Bros’ highly-anticipated film “Barbie” from domestic distribution over a scene featuring a map that shows China’s unilaterally claimed territory in the South China Sea, state media reported on Monday.

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The U-shaped “nine-dash line” is used on Chinese maps to illustrate its claims over vast areas of the South China Sea, including swathes of what Vietnam considers its continental shelf, where it has awarded oil concessions.

“Barbie” is the latest movie to be banned in Vietnam for depicting China’s controversial nine-dash line, which was repudiated in an international arbitration ruling by a court in The Hague in 2016. China refuses to recognise the ruling.

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

“Barbie”, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, was originally slated to open in Vietnam on July 21, the same date as in the United States, according to state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper.

“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,” the paper reported, citing Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Cinema, a government body in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films.

Warner Bros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Vietnam and China have long had overlapping territorial claims to a potentially energy-rich stretch in the South China Sea. The Southeast Asian country has repeatedly accused Chinese vessels of violating its sovereignty.

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