Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is speaking out to slam the new Barbie movie for attempting to “appease the Chinese Communist Party” after Vietnam went so far as to ban the film over scenes that include a map showing China‘s claims to territory in the South China Sea.
— Gabriel ⧗ (@dorksofprey) July 3, 2023
Cruz Sounds Off
Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and was directed by Greta Gerwig, is set to hit theaters on July 21. However, the film has been banned in Vietnam because of scenes featuring the controversial so-called nine-dash line.
A spokesperson for Cruz claimed to Daily Mail that the Barbie movie is “pushing Chinese propaganda.”
“Senator Cruz has been fighting for years to prevent American companies, especially Hollywood studios, from altering and censoring their content to appease the Chinese Communist Party,” the spokesperson said.
“China wants to control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think, and they leverage their massive film markets to coerce American companies into pushing CCP propaganda—just like the way the Barbie film seems to have done with the map. Sen. Cruz deserves credit for reversing these trends,” the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson went on to reference legislation that Cruz both authored and passed last year that prevents government cooperation on “films that engage in exactly this kind of censorship.”
Warner Bros has defended the hotly anticipated Barbie movie after Vietnam banned the film over a scene featuring a map showing China’s unilateral claim over territory in the South China Sea, which it said was a “child-like” drawing and not intended as a statement. pic.twitter.com/BNOtMNBi4M
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 7, 2023
Vietnam Bans Barbie
This came after Vietnam banned Barbie, stating that the map featuring China’s so-called nine-dash line is featured in multiple scenes. In Vietnam, all films must be approved by censors who screen for gratuitous violence, suggestive sex scenes, or politically-sensitive material.
“The film review board watched the film and made the decision to ban the screening of this movie in Vietnam due to a violation regarding the ‘nine-dash line,’” said Vietnam’s Department of Cinema director Vi Kien Thanh.
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“We do not grant license for the American movie Barbie to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” Thanh said in another statement, according to CBS News.
China has been promoting the so-called nine-dash line in the South China Sea since the 1940s. This alleged line extends off the coast of China’s Hainan Island and runs close to the coast of Vietnam. Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have all since made their own claims to parts of the South China Sea, which overlap the nine-dash line.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 5, 2023
The Philippines Threatens To Also Ban Barbie
The Philippines has also threatened to join Vietnam in banning Barbie, should the nine-dash line be featured in it.
“If the invalidated nine-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie Barbie, then it is incumbent upon the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty,” said filipino Senator Francis Tolentino, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Tolentino went on to say that editing the offending scenes could be a “middle ground” compromise for Philippine regulators and the movie studio. If this were to happen, however, it would risk angering film regulators in China.
The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines released a brief statement on Thursday that read, “We confirm that the Board has reviewed the film Barbie today, 04 July 2023. At this time, the assigned Committee on First Review is deliberating on the request of Warner Brothers F.E. Inc. for a Permit to Exhibit.”
#VantageOnFirstpost: Upcoming Hollywood movie #Barbie has been banned in #Vietnam over a controversial map of the South China Sea. The map depicts contested waters as part of Chinese territory. @palkisu tells you why. pic.twitter.com/OPVyTG0TXt
— Firstpost (@firstpost) July 6, 2023
This is just the latest in a long line of instances of Hollywood catering to China like it is its job. We applaud Cruz for continuing to call out Hollywood for submitting to China in such blatant and sickening ways.
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