Barbie Movie Gets Banned in Algeria

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The global phenomenon of the ‘Barbie’ movie’s blockbuster success has encountered an unexpected halt in Algeria, where authorities have decided to withdraw the film from theaters merely three weeks after its release.

While the Barbie movie has charmed audiences around the world, Algeria’s stance underscores a unique perspective on the film’s content, leading to its swift removal from the local cinematic landscape.

The news of the ban was first reported on Algeria’s private news outlet, 24H Algérie, subsequently gaining traction beyond its initial confines. The decision to pull Barbie from theaters in Algeria stems from concerns about the movie’s influence on cultural and moral values.

The Algerian culture ministry, in an undisclosed move, directed the discontinuation of the film’s screening. While the official rationale for the ban has yet to be elucidated, an “official source” cited by Reuters has alluded to the Algerian culture ministry’s disapproval of Barbie’s portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters.

This portrayal was deemed to deviate from Algeria’s religious and cultural norms, prompting the belief that the film may encourage homosexuality in a manner contrary to the nation’s convictions.

This incident is not the first instance of the Barbie movie encountering resistance in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.

Kuwait and Lebanon also barred the movie due to parallel concerns. Kuwait’s assertion was that the film propagated “unacceptable behavior” and distorted societal values, while Lebanon deemed it as promoting homosexuality and compromising faith and morality.

Pakistan took a cautious approach, subjecting the movie to a censorship review in Dubai before permitting its screening in the province.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates allowed the movie’s release, albeit after incorporating substantial edits to align with local sensitivities. Barbie’s journey to the silver screen was fraught with challenges, extending to certain Asian markets. The film’s depiction of the contentious nine-dash line, a reference to a territorial claim by the Chinese government, evoked strong reactions, particularly in Vietnam and the Philippines, leading to edits and alterations.

Despite these international hiccups, the Barbie movie has maintained its triumphant march at the global box office. Within an astounding 17 days of its premiere, the film has achieved the remarkable feat of crossing the $1 billion mark, consolidating its position as one of Warner Bros.’ most triumphant cinematic releases.

Hailing from the creative vision of Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig, the Barbie movie, launched on July 21st, has garnered widespread attention.

Featuring an ensemble cast of distinguished actors including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the iconic characters Barbie and Ken, the film boasts an array of talents including America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. Crafted under the direction of Gerwig and a screenplay penned by Gerwig and Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach, inspired by the beloved franchise by Mattel, the Barbie movie has captured the hearts of audiences while provoking thought-provoking conversations about cultural sensitivities and values across the globe.

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