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Movies & TV

03rd Jul 2023

Barbie movie has been banned from Vietnam for a unique reason

Rory Cashin


Locals will not be able to do the ultimate Barbie and Oppenheimer double bill.

When we first heard that Barbie was getting banned in certain countries, we immediately thought that it must be something to do with queer content.

Recent blockbuster releases such as Lightyear, Beauty & The Beast, Onward, Rocketman, Eternals, West Side Story, Doctor Strange 2, Brokeback Mountain, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Everything Everywhere All At Once, which have all been banned in certain countries around the world for containing LGBTQI+ characters, or for even containing reference to LGBTQI+ people existing.

However, in the case of Barbie, it has been banned from a fairly unique reason. As per Vietnam’s Cinema Department official website:

“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.”

As reported by IGN, “The nine-dash line is a disputed territorial marking China uses to lay claim to a portion of the South China Sea. Despite a 2016 United Nations tribunal ruling against the validity of the nine-dash line, there are no clear ways to implement its decision, and China refuses to acknowledge it.”

The Barbie movie was being heavily promoted in the country in the run-up to its release, but following the new ruling, any and all posters and trailers have been pulled from all of Vietnam, as reported by state-run newspaper Tuoi Tre.

Barbie was due for release on 21 July 2023, the exact same date as Oppenheimer, which means locals can no longer expect to do the double-bill back-to-back, which is itself becoming a bit of a viral idea online.

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