Philippines threatens to join Vietnam in banning 'Barbie'

Philippines threatens to join Vietnam in banning ‘Barbie’

Movie regulators in the Philippines are threatening to join Vietnam in banning the much-anticipated Warner Bros. film Barbie film about a scene from the film depicting a politically sensitive map of Southeast Asia.

On Monday, Vietnam’s National Film Evaluation Council said it was banning all screenings of the film over its inclusion on the screen of a map showing the so-called ‘nine-dash line’, a U-shaped line indicating controversial claims. territories of China in the South China Sea, which according to Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei violate their sovereignty.

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Speaking to CNN Philippines on Tuesday, local Senator Francis Tolentino said, “If the invalidated nine-dash line was actually depicted in the film Barbiehence it falls to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty.

The senator added that editing the offending scene could be a “middle ground” compromise for Philippine regulators and the film studio. Such a move, however, could risk angering film regulators in China, where Barbie it has already been approved for a release and is expected to earn significantly more than Southeast Asia. The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Warner Bros for comment.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines posted a notice on its website on Tuesday that reads: “We confirm that the Board has reviewed the film Barbie today, July 04, 2023. At this time, the Early Review Committee is deliberating on Warner Brothers FE Inc.’s application for an exhibition permit.

The MTRCB tends to issue such notices only when a film’s release authorization is in dispute. He did not add when a decision might be made.

Vietnam and the Philippines, while smaller film markets, are hardly overlooked. A Hollywood blockbuster can earn anywhere from $5 million to over $10 million in every country.

Through the use of the nine-dash line, China attempted to claim 90% of the South China Sea. In 2016, an international court in The Hague ruled that China had no legal basis for such claims. But Beijing has not acknowledged the ruling, instead showing its growing military might by building vast military installations on previously uninhabited islands in the region.

This isn’t the first time Vietnam and the Philippines have taken offense to US films for showing China’s favorite map. by Sony Unexploredstarring Tom Holland, was banned in both countries last year for the same reason.

Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, Barbie will make her international debut on July 19.