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Barbie: Warner Bros Fights Back Movie Sparks OUTRAGE In Vietnam Over 'Child-Like' Map Depiction Of South China Sea! (Details Inside)

Warner Bros defends the inclusion of a controversial map in the Barbie movie, dismissing it as a child-like drawing with no intended meaning, amidst Vietnam's decision to ban the film.

BollywoodMDB Team | Updated On: Jul 12, 2023 02:35 PM IST

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Barbie: Warner Bros Fights Back Movie Sparks OUTRAGE In Vietnam Over 'Child-Like' Map Depiction Of South China Sea! (Details Inside)

In retaliation to Vietnam's decision to outlaw its upcoming Barbie movie, Warner Bros claims that the map seen in the movie is a "child-like crayon drawing" with no intentional meaning. The uproar started because the movie had a map in it that purportedly showed China's disputed South China Sea by showing the 'nine-dash line'. Vietnam and the Philippines have expressed concern about this demarcation, which is disputed by other Southeast Asian nations and was declared unlawful by an international tribunal in 2016.


(Also Read: 20K Americans Buy Tickets To Watch Both 'Oppenheimer' And 'Barbie' On July 21)

In defending the map, Warner Bros claimed that it was just a whimsical depiction of Barbie's imagined voyage from Barbie Land to the real world and that no particular message was intended to be conveyed. But as a result of the uproar, Vietnam has decided not to release the movie and has taken down its posters from websites of distributors. While this is going on, some senators in the Philippines have requested for the movie to be banned or for a disclaimer to be included to contradict the depiction on the map. The movie is now being evaluated by the Philippine Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

According to Philippine senator Risa Hontiveros, the nine-dash line is a creation of Chinese imagination, just like the movie 'Barbie'. She advised that a clear notice about the nine-dash line's fiction be posted in theatres. Vietnam has announced an investigation into the Blackpink tour company's website in addition to the 'Barbie' movie, claiming that it contained a map showing the contentious queue.

The South China Sea conflict has been the subject of prior film and television drama bans in both Vietnam and the Philippines. In the past, two episodes of the Australian spy programme Pine Gap were removed from the Philippines and banned in Vietnam in 2021. Similar restrictions were placed on the action picture Uncharted and the DreamWorks animated animation Abominable in both nations.

The territorial dispute over the South China Sea, a crucial trading route with great geopolitical and economic significance, directly affects the Philippines and Vietnam. Instances of harassment by Chinese vessels in the area have been often reported to the Philippine Coast Guard and fishing communities. While some Filipino organisations have concentrated on the issue over the 'Barbie' movie, others have demanded more aggressive government action to defend the nation's rights in the contested waters.

(Also Read: Barbie Controversy: After Vietnam, Philippines May Now Ban Film Over Disputed Map)

With regard to its territorial claims, China, which is renowned for being sensitive, has put pressure on a number of businesses, including hotel chains and airlines, to acknowledge Taiwan as being a part of China. Organisations like PEN America have expressed concern over Hollywood studios changing or censoring elements of their films to appease Chinese authorities and get access to the lucrative Chinese market.

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