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The “Barbie” movie has been banned in Kuwait and could soon be forbidden in other parts of the Middle East because the film “promotes homosexuality” and carries “ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior,” according to government officials.
Kuwait announced it had banned “Barbie” and the supernatural horror film “Talk to Me” to protect “public ethics and social traditions,” according to Reuters.
The chairman of Kuwait’s film censorship committee, Lafi Al-Subaie, accused the film of “carrying ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values,” local media outlets reported.
‘Barbie’ Banned in Kuwait, Accused of “Promoting Homosexuality” in Lebanon https://t.co/NbDWywd6fH
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 9, 2023
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 Reuters.
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, THR noted.
Despite earlier reports that the movie, about a Barbie doll coming to life, would be banned in larger markets like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it was announced this week the film would hit theaters on August 10 in those countries.
Last month, the feminist fantasy 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.
“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,” Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Cinema, a government body in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films, was quoted as saying in the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper.