Crossing the 9-dash line

Crossing the 9-dash line
Rebel Pepper/RFA

Vietnam has banned the release of the Warner Bros feature film “Barbie” because its trailer includes a crude cartoon map that Vietnamese netizens believed depicted China’s “nine-dash line” territorial claims in the emotive South China Sea maritime territorial dispute. The decision mystified the studio, which said the map that prompted Hanoi to pull the movie was a “child-like crayon drawing” that traced Barbie’s travels and carried no political message.

The Philippines, meanwhile, announced on July 12 that the movie can be shown. The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board said it conducted two review sessions and consulted with relevant government agencies and a legal expert on the South China Sea before giving “Barbie” a PG rating, meaning children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult. The board said it is “convinced that the contentious scene does not depict the ‘nine-dash line.’”


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