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‘Barbie’ Won’t Be Banned in Philippines, But Controversial Map Scene Might Get Blurred



After a weeklong review and much public debate, the Philippines has opted not to ban Gretta Gerwig’s much anticipated Barbie movie. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, the soon-to-be blockbuster will release in cinemas across the Southeast Asian nation on July 19.

The Philippines’ Movie and Television Review and Classification Board said in a letter Tuesday that it had “exhausted all possible resources to arrive at this decision,” but that there was “no basis to ban the film.” But the MTRCB added that it has requested Warner Bros. to blur part of the scene that ignited the controversy to make sure no viewers “misinterpreted” the sequence.

Barbie found itself banned in Vietnam and igniting outrage elsewhere in Southeast Asia over a sequence that some viewers allege shows a map depicting the so-called “nine-dash line,” a U-shaped marking indicating China’s controversial territorial claims deep into the South China Sea. , which Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all say violate their sovereignty. Wednesday is the seventh anniversary of a ruling by an international tribunal at The Hague that decided China has no legal basis for such claims (But Beijing has not recognized the ruling and has instead built extensive military installations on previously uninhabited islands within the region).

More to come…

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