Amid the ongoing “Barbie” South China Sea map controversy, local censors have declared that the Warner Bros. film will still be released in the Philippines.
Background information: Earlier this month, Vietnam banned “Barbie” from playing in cinemas across the country because of a scene with a map that resembles China’s “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea.
The nine-dash line is included in Chinese maps to show the parts of the South China Sea that China has claimed ownership of. Vietnam considers some of these areas as being part of its own continental shelf.
Reaching a final decision: The Philippines’ Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTPCB) stated in a letter released on Wednesday that it conducted “meticulous screenings” and “exhausted all possible resources” in deciding to release “Barbie” in the Philippines, where China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are also disputed.
The MTPCB declared that the film’s “cartoonish map of the character ‘Weird Barbie’… does not depict the ‘nine-dash line.’”
“Instead, the map portrayed the route of the make-believe journey of Barbie from Barbie Land to the ‘real world,’ as an integral part of the story,” the MTRCB continued.
Special request: The MTRCB also reportedly sent a letter to Francis Tolentino, vice chairperson of the Philippines’ Senate committee on foreign relations, explaining that it has asked Warner Bros. to blur the map’s lines to prevent further confusion among audience members.
The letter states, in part, that the lines are “not U-shaped and has [sic] eight dots/dashes instead of nine.” Additionally, countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia are not included in the map.
It has yet to be confirmed whether Warner Bros. has accepted the MTRCB’s request.
Other details: “Barbie” will hit cinemas on July 19 in the Philippines and on July 21 in the U.S.
The film, which follows a doll named Barbie who leaves Barbie Land to explore the human world, features a star-studded cast that includes Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Ana Cruz Kayne, America Ferrera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emma Mackey, Ritu Arya, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Will Ferrell and Michael Cera, among many others.