‘Uncharted’ film pulled from Philippine cinemas due to South China Sea map

uncharted
  • Sony’s film “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland, was pulled from Philippine cinemas over a scene showing China’s disputed nine-dash map claim over the South China Sea.
  • The two-second frame of the nine-dash line map illustrates China’s maritime territory claims in the South China Sea, over which neighboring countries including Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia also have competing claims.
  • The Philippines filed an arbitration case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to settle the maritime dispute in 2013. While the Philippines won the landmark arbitration case in 2016, Beijing did not participate in the proceedings and rejected the ruling.
  • Last month, Vietnam also banned “Uncharted” due to the same disputed map.

The Sony Pictures film “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, was pulled from Philippine cinemas over a scene showing China’s nine-dash map illustrating their disputed claim over the South China Sea.  

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) of the Philippines stopped showing the action-adventure movie following a request from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“In its response to the DFA, MTRCB stated that it had ordered Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. to cease and desist from exhibiting the said motion picture, unless and until they are able to remove the objectionable scenes,” DFA stated in a press release on Wednesday.

The film, which was released in the Philippines on Feb. 23, includes a two-second frame of a nine-dash line map, which the DFA says is “contrary to national interest.”

The U-shaped line illustrates China’s maritime territory claim in the South China Sea, over which neighboring countries including Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia also have competing claims.

In 2013, former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III filed an arbitration case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to settle the maritime dispute. While the Philippines won the landmark arbitration case in 2016, Beijing did not participate in the proceedings and rejected the ruling. 

“The nine-dash claim is contrary to national interest, which has been settled in the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the DFA said. “The Arbitral Tribunal held that China’s nine-dash line has no legal basis as its accession to UNCLOS has extinguished any of its rights that it may have had in the maritime areas in the South China Sea. China also never had historic rights in the waters within the nine-dash line.”

Last month, Vietnam also banned the Sony film due to the same disputed map. 

Both countries previously pulled DreamWorks’ animated film “Abominable” from cinemas in 2019 and ordered Netflix to remove some episodes of the Australian political drama “Pine Gap” in 2021 for also including images of the nine-dash line.

Feature Image via Sony Pictures Entertainment

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