Gulf City: In order to safeguard “public ethics and social traditions,” Kuwait has banned the movies “Barbie” and “Talk to Me,” according to the state news agency’s early Thursday report.
According to Lafy Al Subeie, undersecretary of the Ministry for Press and Publication, the decision was made out of a strong desire to preserve societal customs and public morals.
Al Subeie, who is also the head of the Committee, stated that “the Committee noted that both movies promulgate ideas and beliefs that are alien to the Kuwaiti society and public order.”
— Kuwait News Agency – English Feed (@kuna_en) August 9, 2023
“Whenever a committee selects a foreign film, scenes that violate moral standards are typically censored. He added that this rule applies to all foreign cinema output. “However, a film carries alien concepts, message, or unacceptable behavior, the committee decides to bar the stuff in question as a whole,” he said.
The Gulf nation followed Lebanon’s lead, which took similar action to outlaw the screening of the movie “Barbie” on Wednesday. Vietnam previously had a prohibition on it.
The movie “Barbie,” starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, debuted in theaters on July 21. It had competition at the box office from Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” Despite receiving unfavorable reviews, the movie became one of 2023’s top earners so far.
There are no overt sexual overtones or mentions of LGBTQ+ rights in the movie about the anatomically impossible American dolls. However, it appears to have sparked controversy due to its overt flamboyance and inclusive message of gender equality in a place where homosexuality is traditionally seen as taboo.
According to a statement released by the state-run KUNA news agency, Kuwait announced the ban late on Wednesday, claiming the movie promotes “ideas and beliefs that are alien to the Kuwaiti society and public order,” without providing any further details.