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Why Barbie Film Banned in Pakistan’s Punjab?

Barbie, the highly anticipated Hollywood film, has been delayed due to “objectionable content ”.

‘Barbie’ is a 2023 American fantasy comedy film directed by Greta Gerwig and written by Noah Baumbach based on the famous doll. This film was recently banned by Pakistan’s Punjab film censor board for its objectionable content, sparking discussions and debates about censorship decisions and cultural sensitivities.

According to officials, the film will be reviewed and must be cleared by provincial boards that censor social, cultural, and religious content.

“Ali Nawaz Awan, Punjab’s Secretary of Information told dpa that the film was banned due to objectionable content.

“Objective dialogue” has been removed from the film, and the censor board will review it again before deciding whether to screen it.

According to Awan, the amended version of the movie will be reviewed by the board.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt have also postponed the release of “Barbie,” one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Vietnam also banned the film earlier this month due to a sequence representing China’s unilateral claim of land in the South China Sea.

A ban on the movie Barbie in Punjab Province was criticized by Pakistani fans  

“Just heard that Barbie’s banned in Pakistan? I watched [the] movie yesterday. There’s literally nothing in that movie to ban. No swear words. No nudity. No obscenity. Not even any LGTBQ+ characters. Thematically, the film is about women being able to do anything they want, which I guess is a big threat to the fabric of our society,” one user wrote on Twitter.

Pakistan banned films that challenged cultural norms. Joyland, the Cannes prize-winning film and Pakistan’s Oscar entry for 2023, was banned by the conservative Muslim-majority country for violating “social norms”.

Joyland focused on the affair of a married Pakistani man with a transgender woman. Despite the government clearing Joyland after a review by the national censorship board, the film remained banned in Punjab.

Zindagi Tamasha was banned in 2019 by an ultra-religious party, who accused its director of blasphemy for depicting a religious man creating hymns and dancing at family events, a crime punishable by death.

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