Barbie’ Release Postponed in Middle East as Potential Ban Looms in Saudi Arabia and More Territories

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The highly anticipated live-action movie ‘Barbie’, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, has been delayed in several Middle Eastern countries due to censorship issues. The film, which was scheduled to hit theaters on July 21, 2023, has been pushed back indefinitely as authorities review its content for possible violations of cultural and religious norms.

The movie, directed by Greta Gerwig and written by Noah Baumbach, follows the adventures of Barbie (Robbie) and Ken (Gosling) as they leave their plastic world and explore the human one. The film has been praised by critics for its witty and subversive take on the iconic doll franchise but also faced backlash from some conservative groups who claim that it promotes Western values and feminism.

According to reports the movie has been banned outright in Saudi Arabia, where cinemas were only reopened in 2018 after a 35-year hiatus. The country has a strict censorship policy that prohibits any depiction of nudity, sexuality, or blasphemy. Other countries that have reportedly banned or postponed the movie include Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The movie’s distributor, Warner Bros., has not commented on the situation but has expressed hope that the movie will eventually be released in the region. The movie’s producer, Mattel Films, has also defended the film as a celebration of diversity and empowerment.

‘Barbie’ is still set to open in most other markets on July 21, 2023, where it will face stiff competition from Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’, a historical drama about the development of the atomic bomb. The movie has already generated a lot of buzz and positive reviews from its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.


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