(NewsReady.com) – There’s a controversy brewing over what should be a fun, innocent movie. A decision by Warner Bros. to include a map that features the South China Sea has resulted in it being banned in one country — and an American lawmaker is calling it propaganda for China.
Vietnam reportedly banned the “Barbie” movie over a scene that shows the “nine-dash line.” That’s a geographical indicator that certain territories in the South China Sea belong to the People’s Republic of China. The United Nations has ruled China has no claims on the region, but the communist country’s narrative persists.
In a statement to Variety, Warner Bros. said the map is “a child-like crayon drawing” and wasn’t “intended to make any type of statement.”
Warner Bros. asserts that the "child-like" doodle Barbie map that prompted the movie to be banned in Vietnam was "not intended to make any type of statement." https://t.co/fyqYRROrZY pic.twitter.com/BUicCuQqu3
— IGN (@IGN) July 7, 2023
A spokesperson for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke to the Daily Mail and said Greta Gerwig’s film, starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie, is “pushing Chinese propaganda.” The statement from the lawmaker’s office pointed to his record of “fighting for years to prevent American companies […] from altering and censoring” content in order to make the Chinese Communist Party happy.
The statement went on to accuse the Chinese government of trying to “control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think” by leveraging their film markets against companies to push their beliefs. That is what the senator believes the map in the film does.
Cruz also tweeted:
I guess Barbie is made in China…. https://t.co/CDB1IzZcvm
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 3, 2023
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning dismissed the outrage from Vietnam over the movie map, saying their “position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent.” Mao went on to say Hanoi should not connect the issue “with normal cultural exchange.”
This isn’t the first time a movie studio has been accused of pushing Chinese propaganda. Disney came under fire in 2020 for filming parts of its live-action version of “Mulan” in Xinjiang province. That’s the region where China has carried out genocide against the Uyghur minorities. People ultimately boycotted the film as a result.
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