The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) is deliberating whether the highly anticipated live-action film "Barbie" will be allowed for commercial release in the Philippines.
“We confirm that the Board has reviewed the film “Barbie” today, July, 4, 2023. At this time, the assigned Committee on First Review is deliberating on the request of Warner Brothers F.E. Inc. for a Permit to Exhibit,” the MTRCB said on Tuesday.
A copy of the permit to exhibit or the committee’s decision will be uploaded on their website once it is available, the agency added.
On Monday, Vietnam banned the upcoming “Barbie” film directed by Greta Gerwig over a scene depicting China’s controversial nine-dash line along the South China Sea (SCS).
When asked if the Philippines will pursue the same actions, Chairperson Lala Sotto on Monday said the MTRCB will review the highly anticipated film for its request for rating and classification.
Tolentino wants ban
Senator Francis Tolentino said the movie should be prohibited from public viewing in the Philippines if it shows the nine-dash line as it “denigrates Philippine sovereignty”.
"If the invalidated 9-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie Barbie, then it is incumbent upon the MTRCB to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty. Dapat lang ipagbawal ang pelikulang Barbie dahil ang pinakita nitong 9-dash line ay salungat sa katotohanan at pinawalang-bisa na ng arbitral ruling noong 2016,” said Tolentino.
(If the invalidated 9-dash line was indeed depicted in the movie Barbie, then it is incumbent upon the MTRCB to ban the same as it denigrates Philippine sovereignty. The film should be banned because it contradicts the truth and voids the 2016 arbitral ruling.)
For her part, Senator Risa Hontiveros said cinemas and theaters should include an “explicit disclaimer” the film is fiction and the “nine-dash line is a figment of China’s imagination.”
“The movie is fiction, and so is the nine-dash line. At the minimum, our cinemas should include an explicit disclaimer that the nine-dash line is a figment of China’s imagination,” said Hontiveros.
China has claims in the South China Sea based on its nine-dash-line map.
In 2016, the Hague-based court invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims over the resource-rich waters and upheld the Philippines' claims in the area based on its exclusive economic zone provided under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Beijing did not participate in the legal proceedings and continues to refuse to recognize the decision of the arbitral tribunal. —VAL, GMA Integrated News