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Controversy Strikes! Pakistan Temporarily Pulls the Plug on 'Barbie'

  • Posted on July 23, 2023
  • News
  • By Navya Shrivastava
Pulls the Plug on 'Barbie'

As "Barbie" enjoys global success at theaters, a storm is brewing in Pakistan as Islamabad contemplates a ban over the film's LGBTQ+ themes.

The situation remains uncertain as the movie continues to generate immense interest among audiences, becoming the talk of the town. However, facing opposition from certain extremist groups, Pakistan's Punjab Censor Board has decided on a temporary ban due to perceived "objectionable content." The clash of opinions adds a layer of complexity to the fate of the movie within the country.

According to Daily Pakistan, the movie ban will eventually be lifted once the "objectionable content" is edited out. The Punjab Censor Board is currently reviewing the film, and a revised version will be released in Pakistani cinemas at an undisclosed date, requiring a few days for completion.

Barbie Movie Faces Widespread Ban Among Islamic Nations - Pakistan Joins UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in the Prohibition.
Barbie star Margot Robbie. (Credit: Reuters Photo)

Nevertheless, Pakistan is not alone in banning the film, as other Islamic countries such as UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have taken similar actions.

In many Islamic nations, pro-LGBTQ content is met with limited enthusiasm or acceptance, making bans on Hollywood films and series with such themes a common occurrence.

Amidst the bans imposed by several Islamic nations on "Barbie," Iran has taken the most stringent approach by implementing a permanent ban. Additionally, Russia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have also temporarily or permanently banned the film for various reasons.

Barbie Movie Faces Widespread Ban Among Islamic Nations - Pakistan Joins UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in the Prohibition.
Australian actress Margot Robbie poses on the pink carpet upon arrival for the European premiere of "Barbie" in London on July 12 © JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Russia's decision came due to concerns about the film's perceived promotion of consumerism among infants. Meanwhile, both Vietnam and the Philippines objected to the depiction of the Nine Dash Line, asserting that it undermines their sovereignty and supports China's claims in the disputed South China Sea, which these nations firmly reject.

Despite the controversies and bans, Greta Gerwig's fantasy-comedy film, featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has received critical acclaim and achieved commercial success, with theaters, including those in India, running at full capacity.

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Navya Shrivastava

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