Vietnam Banned the Barbie Movie: Discover the Scandalous Reason Behind the Controversial Ban

Vietnam Bans “Barbie” Movie: Here’s Why

The highly anticipated release of the new “Barbie” movie is generating excitement worldwide. However, there is one country that won’t be embracing Barbie’s world – Vietnam. In a recent development, Vietnamese officials have banned the screening of the film within their borders, citing a specific reason related to territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The Map Controversy:

The primary reason behind Vietnam’s ban on the “Barbie” movie is the inclusion of a map that depicts disputed Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. The map in question shows the U-shaped, “nine-dash line” that represents China’s unilateral and contested claims to substantial portions of the South China Sea. It is worth noting that this area, encompassing the coastlines of Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei, is also subject to competing claims by these countries.

International Implications:

China’s nine-dash line and its claims in the South China Sea have been a contentious issue with significant international implications. In 2016, an international tribunal at the Hague ruled that China’s nine-dash line had no legal validity. However, China has refused to acknowledge this ruling, deepening tensions with neighboring countries and affecting geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Vietnam’s Stance:

Vietnamese authorities argue that the inclusion of the controversial map in the “Barbie” movie distorts the truth and violates the law. This is not the first time Vietnam has taken such action. In the past, they have also banned other movies, including Sony’s “Uncharted” and DreamWorks’ “Abominable,” for depicting the nine-dash line.

Impact on “Barbie” Movie:

As a result of the ban, all advertisements and promotions for the “Barbie” movie have been removed from movie distributors’ websites in Vietnam. The film was scheduled to be released on July 21, but Vietnamese audiences will now be deprived of the opportunity to watch it in theaters.

Philippines’ Contemplation:

Following Vietnam’s ban, reports suggest that the Philippines is considering whether to follow suit. The Philippines Senator Francis Tolentino has proposed the possibility of editing out the disputed scene as a potential solution to the issue.

Assessing the Movie’s Controversial Scene:

The controversy surrounding the inclusion of the disputed map in the “Barbie” movie raises questions about the influence of cinema on international disputes and the delicate nature of territorial claims. It also highlights the role of filmmakers in navigating sensitive geopolitical issues and the potential consequences of their artistic choices.

A Shift in Direction:

The “Barbie” movie marks a departure from the previous installments of the franchise, as it allows actor Patrick Wilson to take the directorial reins. However, critics argue that the film lacks the innovative cinematography and tension-building techniques that were evident in the earlier movies, diminishing its impact on viewers.

Exploring Deep-seated Themes:

Wilson attempted to infuse deeper themes into the narrative by addressing repression and generational trauma. Nevertheless, the execution of these themes through half-baked metaphysics and dumbed-down symbolism falls short of capturing genuine terror and leaves the audience craving for more.

The Vietnamese Backdrop:

Set in Vietnam, the movie explores the aftermath of the Lambert family’s traumatizing experiences and their attempt to erase painful memories through therapeutic hypnosis. However, the college setting and isolation of characters in separate plot threads disrupt the narrative flow, weakening the overall impact.

Patrick Wilson’s Influence and Craft:

Patrick Wilson, known for his notable roles in various films, including the “Insidious” franchise, reflects on his collaboration with director Christopher Nolan and the influence of theater on his craft. He acknowledges the importance of working with exceptional directors like Nolan and the invaluable lessons he learned from his stage experiences.

The Impact of “Peaky Blinders”:

“Peaky Blinders,” a popular television series set in post-World War I Birmingham, played a significant role in elevating Wilson’s career. The show’s creator, Steven Knight, recognized Wilson’s ability to captivate audiences and praised his talent in controlling the viewer’s perception.

The Significance of the Ban:

Vietnam’s decision to ban the “Barbie” movie due to the disputed map highlights the sensitivity surrounding territorial disputes in the South China Sea. It also showcases the influence of cinema as a medium in shaping public opinion and triggering diplomatic discussions.


The ban on the “Barbie” movie in Vietnam sheds light on the complex relationships between art, territorial disputes, and national sensitivities. While viewers in Vietnam will miss out on the film’s release, the controversy surrounding its inclusion of the disputed map serves as a reminder of the intricate political dynamics at play.


1. Why did Vietnam ban the “Barbie” movie?

Vietnam banned the “Barbie” movie due to its depiction of a map showing disputed Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

2. What is the significance of the “nine-dash line”?

The “nine-dash line” represents China’s controversial claims in the South China Sea and has been a source of tension with neighboring countries.

3. Are other countries considering banning the movie?

The Philippines is reportedly contemplating whether to ban the “Barbie” movie for the same reason as Vietnam.

4. How has Patrick Wilson contributed to the film industry?

Patrick Wilson’s acting and directorial roles have made a significant impact, especially in the “Insidious” franchise and his collaborations with renowned directors.

5. What does the ban signify in terms of art and diplomacy?

The ban on the “Barbie” movie highlights the complex interplay between art, territorial disputes, and national sensitivities, emphasizing the potential influence of cinema on diplomatic discussions.


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