Lebanon's Culture Minister, Mohammad Mortada, has recently expressed intentions to ban the screening of the globally trending "Barbie" movie. According to a Reuters report, the minister described the film as a promoter of homose*uality, challenging the country's deeply rooted faith and moral standards.
In a directive issued, Minister Mortada has appealed to Lebanon’s General Security agency, the entity overseeing censorship in the nation, to implement measures halting the movie’s release. This move underscores the larger cultural battle being waged in various countries over the content portrayed in entertainment.
Robbie Discusses 'Barbie' Inclusivity Controversy
The film has also caught attention for its diverse cast and the undercurrents of inclusivity. Margot Robbie, the acclaimed actress donning the titular role of Barbie, addressed speculations regarding the se*ual orientation of Ken, Barbie’s counterpart, in an interview with the British LBGTQ magazine, Attitude.
“They are all dolls," Robbie stated. “They don’t have se*ual orientations because they don’t have reproductive organs." Robbie, who also wears the hat of a producer for the film, emphasized that the central ethos during the casting process was not to pigeonhole characters, but to ensure "Barbie Land" was a space where everyone felt welcomed.
Highlighting this commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the film showcases performances from various LGBTQ+ actors, such as Scott Evans, Alexandra Shipp, and Hari Nef, alongside Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who steps into the shoes of Ken.
However, Lebanon isn't the sole nation expressing reservations about the film. Vietnam took an issue not with the film's portrayal of LGBTQ+ inclusivity, but with a scene's depiction of a disputed territory. Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism pulled the plug on the film's release following an animated map scene at 'Weird Barbie’s' residence.
The scene depicted the South China Sea with a "nine-dash line", a territorial claim largely asserted by China. The decision was made just ahead of the movie's anticipated release in Vietnam on July 21. As the "Barbie" movie continues to make waves internationally, its content has ignited debates not just about cultural values, but also geopolitical tensions.