The Most Controversial Movie Of The Summer Is… ‘Barbie’ (?)

Oppenheimer — a based-on-a-true-story drama about the guy who helped build the atomic bomb, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people — isn’t the most controversial movie coming out this summer. Or even this July 21st. That honor belongs to Barbie. The Margot Robbie-starring comedy, which used up the world’s supply of pink, has already been banned in one country and it might soon be forbidden in another.

Barbie will not be screened in Vietnam over “a scene that includes the so-called nine-dash line, a U-shaped dotted line on a map showing territory in the South China Sea that both China and Vietnam claim as their own,” according to the New York Times. “The nine-dash line is used in Chinese maps to mark its claim over as much as 90 percent of the South China Sea.” Authorities in the Philippines are also considering banning a movie where Ryan Gosling plays a no-thoughts, head-empty hunk who describes his job as “beach.”

The Philippines, like Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, have competing claims in the South China Sea and strongly refute China’s claim to nearly the entire maritime region. “If the invalidated 9-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie ‘Barbie,’ then it is incumbent upon the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty,” said Philippines Senator Francis Tolentino, vice chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee.

I’m opposed to censorship…

… but this could work if Barbie is released everywhere else, and the movie theater screens in Vietnam and the Philippines that were set aside for Barbie will play The Nice Guys instead. This way, everyone gets a (hopefully) good Ryan Gosling movie. Or, y’know, Barbie could not be banned. That works, too.

(Via the New York Times and Variety)