Lebanon considers banning Barbie film for allegedly promoting homosexuality Vietnam bans it due to geopolitical concerns over disputed islands. Unexpected controversies in cinematic world.
In a surprising turn of events, Lebanon finds itself at odds with the glitzy allure of the Barbie movie, accusing it of subtly 'promoting homosexuality'. While the Greta Gerwig-directed film has taken the world by storm, painting it in hues of pink and breaking box office records, not everyone is joining the fantastic plastic party.
Lebanon, a country with deeply rooted religious values, is now considering putting a halt to the screening of the film within its borders due to what it perceives as conflicting with its societal norms. The country's culture minister, Mohammad Mortada, asserts that the Barbie movie encourages 'sexual transformation' and the promotion of homosexuality, thereby contradicting the cherished values of faith and morality. Notably, Mortada raises concerns about the film's impact on the traditional family unit.
While the assertion of the film's connection to promoting homosexuality might leave some perplexed, a closer look reveals that the film doesn't overtly engage in this aspect. Despite a playful interaction between the Kens, which some could interpret as a nod to LGBTQIA+ representation, the majority of the film adheres to heteronormativity, as noted by NBC.
Nevertheless, Mortada is resolute in his stance and has appealed to Lebanon's general security agency to prevent the screening of the Barbie movie in cinemas across the nation.
The film, though met with acclaim in most parts of the world, has also faced bans in unexpected corners. Vietnam, for instance, decided against showcasing the film, not due to concerns of sexuality, but rather because of a geopolitical issue. A scene in the movie displays a map featuring the controversial 'nine dash line', a demarcation used in Chinese maps to assert territorial claims over parts of the South China Sea.
This territorial dispute involves a cluster of disputed islands within the sea, and China's construction of artificial islands and military bases has only exacerbated the matter. Although an international tribunal ruled against China's expansive claims in 2016, the Beijing government remains unyielding in its stance. The tension over the South China Sea involves not only China and Vietnam but also Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Considering Barbie's past as a diplomat and a UNICEF ambassador, it might seem surprising that such a geopolitical faux pas would occur. However, the allure of the big screen apparently outshone her diplomatic sensibilities in this instance.
As the Barbie movie continues to make waves worldwide, its clash with Lebanon's values and Vietnam's geopolitical sensitivities showcases the unexpected complexities that can arise in the wake of seemingly innocuous entertainment. Whether diplomatic missteps or cultural clashes, it's evident that even in the world of pink-tinted plastic, the ripple effects can reach far beyond the screen.