Vietnam bans Barbie movie due to inappropriate display of South China Sea map


Barbie movie is scheduled to release on the 21st of July 2023 and is created by Warner Bros. It is a highly anticipated film and has already created a huge buzz over social media after the launch of its trailer. Recently, Vietnam banned the movie due to featuring a scene that shows the nine-dash line.

The map represents China’s claim that the South China Sea belongs to them. While other countries like Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam have contested the claims. Therefore, the depiction of the map has created a huge fuss.

The screenings of the Barbie movie are banned in Vietnam which was initially stated to release on the 21st of July. It was announced on Monday by the director general of the Vietnam Cinema Department, Vi Kien Thanh, “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.”


Vietnam is among the many other countries that object to China’s assertions. Their claims overlap with that of China and have been contesting over it for a long time.

In 2016, an International board was held in Hague, Netherlands and it was ruled unanimously against China’s claims over the South China Sea. However, China has not considered the judgment and still continues to build military camps in the area. It has also been conducting naval patrols to declare its territorial claims over the region.

It has not been the first time that Vietnam has banned a movie over the controversial map depiction. In the recent past, it has also censored the movie Abominable and Uncharted which were released in 2019 and 2022 respectively. Series like ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’ and ‘Madam Secretary’ was even told to remove the scenes that displayed the nine-dash line.