Barbie may be a money-gobbling behemoth, but not everyone’s a fan. Greta Gerwig’s follow-up to her prized adaptation of Little Women has proven unexpectedly controversial, at least among far-right dorks. (That Joe Rogan has been the voice of reason here shows how weird things have gotten.) But haters in America have some company abroad: Its proven controversial in some Middle Eastern countries, with one banning it outright and another thinking of doing so.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, the frothy yet feminist movie about a doll escaped being banned in the region’s two biggest markets, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It wasn’t so lucky in Kuwait. The same fate may befall it in Lebanon, which may seem strange given that it’s among the region’s more liberal nations.
Still, Barbie’s caught the ire of the country’s culture minister Mohammad Mortada, who’s claimed that it “promotes homosexuality” and “contradicts values of faith and morality,” allegedly by diminishing the role of the family unit.
The latter charge is a bit perplexing; it’s a movie about sentient dolls. (It also features a mother and daughter as prominent characters, though maybe Mortada doesn’t like that dad’s not in the picture, much less all that dragging of the patriarchy.)
As for the “promotes homosexuality” charge, the film doesn’t have any clear gay characters (though one of the Barbies is played by trans actress Hari Nef and another by Kate McKinnon, who’s gay). In fact, star Margot Robbie has pointed out that all the doll characters don’t have any sexuality in part because none of them have genitals. Maybe they’re just mad that it’s extremely pink.
And so moviegoers of Lebanon — and Kuwait — will be deprived a movie so good it broke the brain of Ben Shapiro. Way for the leaders of both nations to choose the wrong side.