Lebanon approves Barbie for release after attempts to ban it

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Lebanon approved the Barbie film to be screened in cinemas on Friday, after an initial attempt to ban it by the culture minister over claims it contradicts conservative values.

The country’s General Security agency, which is responsible for reviewing all films, plays and books that are released in Lebanon, issued a decision on Friday allowing the film’s screening.

The only condition listed was that viewers be restricted to those aged 13 and above.

Last month, Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada asked the Interior Ministry to ban the film, saying it “contradicts religious values”.

Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi in turn asked General Security’s censorship committee to review the film and give its recommendation.

Kuwait banned Barbie last month. Quoting Lafy Al Subei, undersecretary of the Ministry for Press and Publication, the state news agency Kuna said the decision “stemmed from keenness on protection of public and social traditions”.

“While deciding on any foreign movie, the committee usually orders censoring of the scenes that run counter to public ethics. But [if] a film carries alien concepts, message or unacceptable behaviour, the committee decides to bar the stuff in question as a whole,” Al Subei said.

Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, the film sends Mattel Inc’s Barbie doll on an adventure into the real world.
Barbie hit the $1 billion milestone in only 17 days at the box office. It’s also the first movie directed by a woman, Greta Gerwig, to cross the billion dollar mark.


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