Algeria joins other Arab countries in banning 'Barbie' movie

So far Algeria, Lebanon, and Kuwait have all banned the new “Barbie” movie, stating that the film promotes homosexuality.

 MARGOT ROBBIE and Ryan Gosling in ‘Barbie.’  (photo credit: TULIP ENTERTAINMENT)
MARGOT ROBBIE and Ryan Gosling in ‘Barbie.’

Algeria has become the latest Arab country to ban the popular new movie, Barbie, according to a report from Reuters on Monday.

In banning the film, the North African country joins fellow Muslim-majority nations Lebanon and Kuwait in prohibiting the movie.

The movie has also been banned in Vietnam due to a scene that features a map showing China's unilaterally claimed territory in the South China Sea.

Algeria has banned the movie after it had been playing in Algerian theaters for several weeks, Reuters quoted an official source as saying.

Also according to the source, Barbie “promotes homosexuality and other Western deviances." Additionally, it "does not comply with Algeria's religious and cultural beliefs."

 Algeria on the map. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Algeria on the map. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Similar rationales have been advanced by the other two Muslim nations to ban the movie. According to the Kuwaiti state-run KUNA news agency, the film advances “ideas and beliefs that are alien to the Kuwaiti society and public order.”

The same explanations were made in Lebanon. 

Lebanese Culture Minister Mohammad Mortada released a statement denouncing the movie. The statement read, “The movie Barbie contradicts moral and faith values and established principles in Lebanon, as it promotes homosexuality and transgenderism and promotes an ugly idea of rejecting the father’s guardianship, belittling and ridiculing the mother’s role, questioning the necessity of marriage and building a family, and portraying them as an obstacle to the individual’s self-development, especially for women.”

Additionally, the censorship authorities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE implemented edits before releasing the movie for public viewing in their respective countries.

Other films banned for 'homosexuality'

Muslim nations have, in the past, banned Hollywood films in recent years over identical concerns to those expressed by Algeria, Lebanon, and Kuwait. In 2022, the UAE banned the Disney-Pixar film Lightyear over the movie’s depiction of a same-sex couple.

Decisions regarding whether or not a film will be banned frequently fall to each nation’s cultural ministry.

For instance, Reuters reported that the film content being shown in Algerian theaters is supervised by its Cultural Ministry. The ministry has the authority to prevent films it deems inappropriate from being shown.