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The longstanding dispute between China and Vietnam led to a ban on the screening of the movie “Barbie” and performances by the Korean group.

Date: June 19, 2024 Time: 12:51:12

Another international scandal erupted over a small but symbolically significant detail in the new Barbie movie.

Photo: REUTERS

Global conflicts, many of which were previously ignored, are now actively influencing our daily lives and, surprisingly, even its cultural side, including the film industry. Another international scandal erupted over a small but symbolically significant detail in American director Greta Gerwig’s new film “Barbie.”

According to the plot, Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, goes to the real world to “learn the secret of the universe.” In one shot, she and her friend Ken (Ryan Gosling) study a map of the South China Sea with a U-shaped “nine dash line” drawn on it. In fact, it shows China’s territorial claims in the disputed water area.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture was enthusiastic about the demonstration of the limits of the sea in the Hollywood novelty and immediately banned the film from being shot in their country. The official statement from the Warner Brothers film studio itself did not help either, which confirmed that the card only imitated a child’s drawing and had nothing to do with politics.

“The map in Barbieland is children’s drawings with crayons. They were not meant to make any kind of statement,” the post read.

In 2019, for the same reason, the cartoon “Everest” by American DreamWorks Animation and Chinese Pearl Studio was removed from the rental. According to her plot, the girl helped a friendly yeti to return home, and in one of the scenes she looked at a map with a U-shaped line drawn on it.

In 2021, the streaming service Netflix removed two episodes of the Australian spy series Pine Gap from its platform in the Philippines in 2021, at the request of the government, due to the showing of the same line. In 2022, the Vietnamese authorities banned the showing of the action adventure Uncharted: Off the Maps, starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg.

The South Korean K-pop group Blackpink also faced a similar problem. Now the girls are on tour with their world tour, and the places of their performances are indicated by points on the physical map established by the organizer on the band’s website. The musicians almost lost two concerts in Vietnam, because a U-shaped line was also drawn on the tour map. After threats to cancel the performances, the organizer changed the site map and issued a formal apology to the Vietnamese authorities.

The South China Sea has been considered one of the most contested regions in the world for several decades. A place rich in fish stocks, oil and gas and strategic shipping lanes, it has become the object of desire for China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei as they seek to assert their territorial claims. Historically, China has invoked its claims on the basis of the U-shaped “nine-point line” introduced in 1947 and has attempted to dominate most of the territorial waters of the sea.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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