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Kuwait And Lebanon Ban Barbie, Hint: Morality

Following in the footsteps of Vietnam, two more countries have banned the screening of Barbie. A week before it releases in Middle Eastern countries, Lebanon and Kuwait have announced a ban on the movies. 

Both countries have cited their reasons and grounds for restricting the screening. The news may not be welcome in most other parts of the world, but the ban, however, stands in both states. 

The Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling starrer has been described as “man-hating” by several critics. And yet the reasons for the ban in these countries are contrary to the usual criticisms. 

Barbie has commendably touched the USD 1B mark this past week, and it was supposed to open to the middle eastern crowd on August 10, 2023. But before it could hit the theatres, the Kuwaiti authorities were quick enough to announce that the movie would not be screened in their territories. 

Local reports from Kuwait have emerged stating that the chairman of the film censorship committee, Lafi Al-Subaie, has alleged the film of “carrying ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values.”

Culture Minister of Lebanon, Mohammad Mortada, explained that the Barbie movie “promotes homosexuality” and “contradicts values of faith and morality.” It diminishes the importance of the family unit.

On the other hand, Barbie will be opening this week in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which will continue to stack up the numbers at the box office. 

Reuters has reported that “Based on Mortada’s move, Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, in turn, asked General Security’s censorship committee, which falls under the interior ministry and is traditionally responsible for censorship decisions, to review the film and give its recommendation.”

Barbie has made history for its box office collection all while being a solely woman-led film that clashed with a movie directed by Christopher Nolan, releasing the same day. 

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