In a surprising turn of events, the Vietnamese government has banned public screenings of the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film Barbie. The film, directed by the talented Greta Gerwig, was scheduled to debut in Vietnam on July 21, in line with its global release. However, this decision was prompted by a scenario in the film depicting the controversial ‘nine-dash line.’ Vietnam, one of several nations disputing China’s claim to extensive portions of the South China Sea, asserts that this map violates its sovereignty.
Nine Dash Line
The film’s depiction of the ‘nine-dash line’ is the core reason for the ban. The controversial ‘nine-dash line,’ which represents China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, is prominently featured in the scene in question. Neighbors fiercely contest this line, which covers portions of Vietnam’s continental shelf. The incorporation of the ‘nine-dash line’ in the film has reignited the ongoing territorial dispute, resulting in the film being banned in Vietnam. The decision underscores the country’s determination to defend its sovereignty and stand firm against any challenge to its territorial rights.
Barbie Joins a Long List of Banned Films
Vietnam’s decision to ban Barbie is the latest in a string of film and television productions facing similar limitations as a result of the ‘nine-dash line’ issue. DreamWorks’ animated film ‘Abominable’ and Sony’s ‘Uncharted’ were both banned from being released in Vietnam in 2019 because they used the contested map.
TV shows including ‘Put Your Head on My Shoulder’ and ‘Madam Secretary’ have also been ordered to remove sequences displaying the map by 2020. Even Netflix was forced to pull the Australian spy drama ‘Pine Gap’ from the Vietnamese market in 2021. The ban on Barbie is yet another example of how the disputed region generates worries and influences Vietnam’s cinematic environment.
Vietnamese audiences will be dissatisfied that Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, won’t be available there. The ‘nine-dash line’ debate continues to affect Vietnam’s approach to foreign films, highlighting the country’s commitment to maintaining its territorial sovereignty. As viewers throughout the world await the film’s release, the ban in Vietnam adds another dimension of suspense to the already compelling plot of Barbie.