In a recent development, the “Barbie” movie, headlined by Margot Robbie and Ryan
Gosling, has sparked controversy and faced bans in multiple countries, with Algeria
being the latest nation to pull the film from theaters. The decision to withdraw the movie
came after the Algerian Ministry of Culture and Arts raised concerns about the film’s
alleged “damaging morals” and perceived promotion of progressive ideas, which they
stated did not align with the country’s religious and cultural values.
The film had initially gained attention for its star-studded cast and had garnered
approximately 40,000 viewers within the first three weeks of its release in Algeria.
However, the movie’s portrayal of certain themes prompted the government to take
action. The move to ban the film was conveyed to local distributor MD Ciné and major
cinemas, as the authorities cited concerns over its potential negative impact on societal
Algeria’s decision to ban the “Barbie” movie echoes a pattern observed in other
countries. Earlier this month, Kuwait announced its ban of the Greta Gerwig-directed
feminist fantasy film “Talk to Me,” citing the need to safeguard public ethics and social
traditions. Similarly, Lebanon’s cultural minister, Mohammad Mortada, declared that the
movie promoted homosexuality and went against the values of faith and morality, raising
concerns about the importance of family values.
In the context of these bans, both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were
reportedly contemplating prohibiting the film, but it ultimately premiered in both nations.
However, the possibility of edits being made to the movie to appease censors cannot be
discounted (Hollywood does it for China all the time). A series of bans have marked the film’s journey, as it was also deemed offensive and subsequently prohibited in Vietnam due to its depiction of a South China Sea map. This contentious map depicted a U-shaped “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea, an area of long-standing territorial dispute between Vietnam and China.
The “Barbie” movie has done well in the United States but has been met with mixed reactions overseas.