Barbie Land just got a little smaller.
The highly anticipated “Barbie” was banned in Vietnam over the inclusion of the “nine-dash map” depicting islands in the South China Sea as controlled by Beijing. Vietnamese politicians say the map violates their sovereignty.
Vi Kien Thanh, director general of Vietnam’s film department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, announced that “Barbie” will not be allowed to be screened commercially in the nation, as decided by the National Film Evaluation Council.
“We are not licensing the Vietnamese release of the American film ‘Barbie’ because it contains the offensive image of the nine-dash line,” state-run newspaper Tuoi Tre said, quoting Thanh (via Variety).
Similarly, the earlier films ‘Uncharted’ and ‘Abominable’ were banned in Vietnam for the same cause, as were the series ‘Madam Secretary’, ‘Pine Gap’ and ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’.
In 2016, the United Nations unanimously ruled against the validity of the “nine dotted lines” map, but China said it did not recognize the UN decision.
“Barbie” star and producer Margot Robbie previously shared that after first reading director Gerwig’s script for Mattel’s live-action film, she was shocked it could be made.
“The first time I read the ‘Barbie’ script, my reaction was, ‘Ah! This is so beautiful. Too bad it’ll never see the light of day,’” Robbie said earlier this year, “because they’re never going to let us make this movie.’ But they did.
Screenwriter Gerwig admitted it was “dizzying” to co-write the film with collaborator Noah Baumbach. “Where do you start? What would the story be? Gerwig remembered wondering. “I think it was that feeling I had that it was going to be a really interesting terror. That’s usually where the best stuff is. When you say ‘I’m terrified of this’. Anything where you say, ‘This could be a career-ending,’ then you’re like, ‘OK, I should probably do this.'”
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