The Barbie movie is set to release worldwide on July 21, 2023, but it looks like one country, Vietnam, won’t be getting the film.
The film has already been banned in Vietnam due to a controversial scene depicting a map with the “nine dash line” (via Variety).
For those unaware of what that means, it’s a depiction of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which according to the Vietnamese government, violates their sovereignty.
“We do not grant license for the American movie Barbie to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” director general of the Vietnam Cinema Department Vi Kien Thanh said on the matter.
Vietnam is not alone in disputing China’s claims on the “nine dash line” map, they’re joined by other neighboring countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Furthermore, a UN tribunal also agreed with the above countries in 2016 after arbitration, however, there is no way to enforce such a ruling and China does not recognize the ruling either.
Vietnam has also banned other movies for similar portrayals such as Uncharted and Abominable. The latter of which caused punishments to be doled out to staff of theaters after they aired the film, not being aware of such a map depiction.
The Barbie movie will be airing July 21, 2023 in the US with an early screening in LA on July 9th.