April 20, 2024

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The movie “Barbie” is banned in Vietnam because of the map of the South China Sea

Mike Blake/Reuters

“Barbie” cast members Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, America Ferrera, Michael Cera, director Greta Gerwig and producers pose for a photo during a photoshoot in Los Angeles on June 25, 2023.


Vietnam banned Warner Bros. Highly anticipated movie “Barbie” From the local distribution on the scene displays a map showing China unilaterally claims the territory In the South China Sea, state media reported Monday. (Warner Bros., like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

The U-shaped “nine dashed line” is used on Chinese maps to spell out its claims over vast swaths of the South China Sea, including large swaths of what Vietnam considers its continental shelf, where it has been granted oil concessions.

“Barbie” is the latest movie to be banned in Vietnam for its depiction of China’s controversial nine-line line, which was rejected in an international arbitration ruling by a court in The Hague in 2016. China refuses to recognize the ruling.

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

The government newspaper Toy Tree reported that the “Barbie” movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling was originally scheduled to open in Vietnam on July 21, the same date in the United States.

The newspaper reported quoting Phy Kyn Thanh, the head of the Department of Cinema, a government body in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films.

Warner Bros. did not respond. Immediately a request for comment.

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