The highly anticipated “Barbie” film has been banned in Vietnam.
Government officials have deemed parts of the movie too offensive for the Vietnamese audience.
The premiere of “Barbie and Ken,” a fantasy comedy starring Margot Robbie (Barbie) and Ryan Gosling (Ken), was set for July 21 in Vietnam.
The problem is that in “Barbie,” the South China Sea is shown as a U-shaped “nine-dash line.”
Vietnam and China have had a long history of tension in this area. Despite Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan all laying claim to sections of the same maritime area, the line remains on Chinese maps to illustrate their rights over the area.
The head of Vietnam’s Department of Cinema, responsible for licensing and censoring foreign films, Vi Kien Thanh, said they would not grant a license for Barbie’s release because it shows the offending “nine-dash line.”
The narrative of the “Barbie” film has been kept secret since the announcement of the film. Gosling remarked how Mattel would be angry if he leaked information before the debut.
Actress America Ferrera (Gloria) stated that people don’t know what to expect, and that’s the “right vibe.”
According to the preview, the plot of “Barbie” centers on the legendary doll’s journey from her ideal, idealized setting to the “real world” in search of fulfillment.
It’s not the first time a movie like “Barbie” has been prohibited because of the nine-dash line. For the same reason, the Vietnamese government has banned both the animated DreamWorks feature “Abominable” (2019) and the action-adventure picture “Uncharted” (2022). In 2021, Netflix canceled the Australian espionage program “Pine Gap” for including the statement in a scene.