Manila, Jul 12 (EFE).- The Philippine government has allowed the screening of the Hollywood film “Barbie” in the country but asked its Hollywood distributor to blur a scene showing a controversial map that represents China’s territorial claims to the disputed South China Sea.
The film has sparked a controversy in Southeast Asia over featuring a map showing the so-called “nine-dash line,” which China uses in maps to justify its maritime claims to the contested region.
The Philippine’s Movie and Television Review and Classification Board made the decision following two “meticulous screenings” of the movie saying they would not ban the film, as it does not “pose a threat.”
The review committee said the contentious scene does not depict the controversial South China Sea map and instead, only 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 film starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling is scheduled for commercial release in the country on Jul. 19.
However, Vietnam, which also claims part of the South China Sea, banned the movie last week over the “offensive” map, supposedly giving credence to China’s territorial claims over the entire region.
Last week, Warner Bros. film studio, which has made the movie, downplayed the controversy.
“The map in Barbie Land is a child-like crayon drawing. It was not intended to make any type of statement,” a spokesperson for the company told specialized entertainment magazine Variety.
Last year, the Philippine authorities also censored the movie “Uncharted,” starring Tom Holland, because it featured the same controversial map, allegedly supporting China’s territorial claims.
Both the Philippines and China have claimed the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands.
Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea where it has already built military facilities on several islets.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are other nations with partial claims over the region, and have sovereignty disputes with China. EFE