Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ movie has taken the global box office by storm, surpassing the remarkable milestone of $1 billion in ticket sales.
However, this glittering success is accompanied by a contentious journey, with some countries refusing to embrace the film due to concerns over its impact on local values and traditions.
One notable absence from the list of premieres is Kuwait, where the decision to withhold the screening of the bubblegum pink flick has been attributed to the desire to safeguard public ethics and social traditions.
Lafi Al-Subaie, chairman of Kuwait’s film censorship committee, expressed concerns about the film, claiming that it contains “ideas that encourage unacceptable behavior and distort society’s values.”
These remarks were cited from local media reports, as conveyed by the Hollywood Reporter.
In another Middle Eastern country, Lebanon, the film has ignited a separate controversy.
It has been accused of “promoting homosexuality,” a concern raised by Minister Mohammad Mortada.
He argues that the movie’s content “promotes homosexuality and sexual transformation” while allegedly undermining the significance of the family unit and conflicting with values of faith and morality.
These claims come amidst a backdrop of shifting attitudes and increased crackdowns on LGBTQ+ rights in Lebanon, even though the country once hosted its own gay pride week in 2017.
Barbie Movie Sparks Cultural Clash
The opposition to the “Barbie” movie in these countries has prompted responses from authorities and government bodies.
In Lebanon, the interior minister, Bassam Mawlawi, has directed the General Security’s censorship committee to review the film and provide its recommendations.
The movie, which stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, follows the characters’ journey from Barbie Land to the real world, exploring themes of inclusivity and representation.
Margot Robbie, who not only played the titular character but also served as an executive producer, expressed her intention to create an inclusive experience for audiences.
In an interview, she emphasized the importance of making Barbie Land feel diverse and welcoming to all viewers, ensuring that the movie’s message resonates with a wide range of people.
Despite these intentions, Robbie clarified that the film does not feature any gay Kens or Barbies.
The controversy surrounding the “Barbie” movie underscores the complex interplay between entertainment, culture, and societal values.
While the film has gained immense popularity globally, it has encountered resistance in specific regions due to concerns over its potential influence on social norms and beliefs.
As discussions surrounding the movie’s content and impact continue, it highlights the ongoing dialogue between artistic expression and cultural sensitivities.
Source: The New York Post