Warner Bros says the image of a map which caused the upcoming Barbie movie to be banned in Vietnam was “not intended to make any type of statement”.
The film, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, reportedly contains a scene depicting a map showing what appeared to be the “nine dash line”.
The line is a representation of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which Vietnam says violates its sovereignty.
According to local Vietnamese outlets, it is deemed an “illegal image” – prompting the national ban.
Vi Kien Thanh, director general of the Vietnam Cinema Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, reportedly announced the ban on Monday.
In a statement shared with US outlet Variety, Warner Bros said the “doodles” shown on screen were intended to depict “Barbie’s make-believe journey from Barbie Land”.
“The map in Barbie Land is a child-like crayon drawing,” a spokesperson for the Warner Bros Film Group told Variety.
“The doodles depict Barbie’s make-believe journey from Barbie Land to the ‘real world’.
“It was not intended to make any type of statement.”
Barbie is due for release in Ireland on July 21st, the same day as Christopher Nolan’s historical epic Oppenheimer.