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Monday, April 22 2024
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Saudi Arabia mulls ‘Barbie’ ban due to debate over cuts, themes

Saudi Arabia mulls Barbie ban due to debate over cuts themes
Photo Credit : IANS

Los Angeles: Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ has been a point of contention in the Middle East and Islamic countries, with certain countries having banned it altogether such as Qatar and Kuwait.

The movie was released in the UAE, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was planning on releasing it on August 31 after making a few edits. But now the country is pondering over the possibility of a full-on ban.

The movie was a big point in the Middle East because despite it being a fun-hearted family comedy movie, the film’s LGBTQ+ themes alongside its consumerist attitude did not fare well in the Middle East, with Israel having released it.

Earlier, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had begun promoting its own local pictures such as ‘Sattar’ which overtook James Cameron’s ‘Avatar 2: The Way of Water’ by a massive margin. While they had surprisingly declared that they would release ‘Barbie’, much to the surprise of many, now the country has hinted at a possible ban.

As reported by ‘Variety’, the reason for this stems from a multi-layered web covering both the country’s politics and religious aspects as well as social and cultural apprehensions.

The censor board of the country remains divided on the issue as some suggest that the movie has little to no harm to do the country’s norms and social fabric, and with some edits to the movie, such as Barbie deriding aspects of patriarchy and whatnot, the movie could be released.

But now there is a growing fear that the movie will promote too many Western values in the country and also result in people cashing in on Barbie dolls at a difficult economic time. Plus there is the additional fear that this could potentially damage the social fabric of the country, promoting values incompatible with the country’s values.

The movie was already aired in the UAE and was even given a massive appearance on the Burj Khalifa, and KSA also had a little problem with the movie, but with the increasing criticism the movie has gotten from global audiences regarding its preachy attitude regarding patriarchy and promotion of LBGTQ themes has resulted in the country reconsidering its August 31 release date.

As such the movie has been postponed until KSA censor boards come to a full agreement, but as of such, the movie may well just end up facing a ban as many religious clerics have also opposed the film.

Some of the other countries where ‘Barbie’ was banned include Bahrain, Iran, Vietnam, Philippines and Russia among others.

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