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The “Barbie” movie has been banned in Algeria, which slammed the film’s “damaging morals” and promotion of “homosexuality” after it had initially opened in the north African country.
The Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling-led film opened three weeks ago in the country, bringing in about 40,000 viewers, but the movie has since been pulled from theaters after the country’s Ministry of Culture and Arts asked for its withdrawal, Reuters reported.
The movie was reportedly taken down because it was deeemed to “promote homosexuality and did not comply with Algeria’s religious and cultural beliefs,” an “official source” told the outlet.
'Barbie' Banned in Algeria for Promoting Homosexuality https://t.co/LZ5DoMExlj
— Variety (@Variety) August 15, 2023
The government informed the local distributor MD Ciné and leading cinemas that the film was being pulled for “damaging morals,” according to the private news site 24H Algérie, which was first to report the ban, the outlet noted.
The move comes after Kuwait announced on August 9 that the Greta Gerwig-directed feminist fantasy and the supernatural horror film “Talk to Me” was banned in the country to protect “public ethics and social traditions,” according to Reuters.
The chairman of Kuwait’s film censorship committee, Lafi Al-Subaie, accused “Barbie” of “carrying ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values,” local media outlets reported.
Last week, Lebanon’s cultural minister, Mohammad Mortada, also moved to ban the film, stating that it promotes “homosexuality and sexual transformation” and “contradicts values of faith and morality” by diminishing the importance of the family unit, according to the outlet.
Based on Mortada’s comments, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi asked General Security’s censorship committee to review the film and give its recommendation, with it widely believed it will also be banned, the Hollywood Reporter noted.
Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates were also reportedly “considering” a ban, but the film ended up opening on August 10. However, it remains unclear if the film was edited, per requests by the censors, before its release, THR noted.
Last month, the film was banned in Vietnam due to content that government officials found offensive.
It has to do with the film’s imagery of a South China Sea map. This region has been a point of contention between Vietnam and China for years, and a map in the movie shows a U-shaped “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea.