Warner Bros. Issues Statement on Barbie Card Controversy

The upcoming Barbie movie has caught in an unprecedented controversy.

The upcoming Barbie movie has caught in an unprecedented controversy.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s new film – based on Mattel’s iconic line of toys – has been banned in Vietnam over the emergence of a controversial card. According to the distributor, however, the film did not want to make a statement.

At the root of Barbie card controversy is the fact that certain trailers for the film featured a hand-drawn map. Many believe that this map represents a representation of the “nine-dash line.” The “nine-dash line” refers to a series of line segments on maps intended to indicate China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. However, Vietnam denies these claims and believes that doing so violates the country’s sovereignty.

In a statement on the matter, a Warner Bros. Film Group spokesman told Variety that the map found in the film was merely a sketch and was not intended to depict any real-world scenario.

“The map in Barbie Land is a child’s crayon drawing,” said a spokesman for Warner Bros. Film Group. “The doodles depict Barbie’s fictional journey from Barbieland to the ‘real world.’ It was not intended to make any statement.”

The card in question is a plot point in the film as Margot Robbie’s Barbie refers to it in her adventure. While it’s unclear if the strokes were politically motivated, Warner Bros. Discovery remains adamant the situation is a misunderstanding.

What is Barbie about?

“Living in Barbie Land means being a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you are in a real existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken,” reads the synopsis.

Barbie is directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig from a screenplay she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach. Joining Robbie are Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Scott Evans, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Hari Nef, Will Ferrell, Helen Mirren, Dua Lipa and more.

The film is being produced by Robbie and Tom Ackerly for Mattel Films’ LuckyChap and Robbie Brenner, along with Josey McNamara and Ynon Kreiz. This is Robbie’s latest collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, having portrayed fan-favorite anti-heroine Harley Quinn in 2016’s Suicide Squad, 2020’s Birds of Prey and 2021’s The Suicide Squad.