Barbie Banned in Vietnam for Showing Map of South China Sea That Includes Nine-Dash Line

Vietnam has banned the “Barbie” movie, over a scene that depicts a border dispute between Vietnam, China, and other countries.

One scene in the movie depicts a map of the world that appears to include the “nine-dash line” delineating a disputed zone in the South China Sea as a part of China.

It was a simple drawing of a world map with dashes that spilled out into the ocean in the approximate location of the disputed area.

A fleeting scene in the film has caused it to be pulled from distribution. Vietnam is a country of 97,000,000 people.

“We do not grant a license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” according to the state-run news outlet Tuoi Tre which cited Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Cinema.

A court in The Hague ruled in Vietnam’s favor in 2016 in the dispute between Vietnam and China regarding the energy-rich area, but China refused to accept the ruling.

The controversial “nine-dash line” was not used in the “Barbie’ movie. The censorship was similar for “Uncharted”, a 2022 Dreamworks film, and “Abominable,” an animated Dreamworks movie from 2019.

Warner Bros. has not confirmed whether it would lift the restriction if the scene was edited out. The company may even be considering the option of editing the scene.

Warner Bros. didn’t respond to Reuters’ request for a statement immediately.

The movie “Barbie”, starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and other stars will be released on July 21, 2011.

Here is a local report on the ban: