Ali Nawaz Malik, the Information Secretary of Punjab, clarified that the movie ‘Barbie’ has not been banned in Punjab, but its screening has been temporarily withheld until approval from the censor board is obtained. He explained that the film is currently under review by the censor board in Dubai, and a decision will be made based on the board’s evaluation.
The reason behind the delay in its exhibition is that the relevant authorities are waiting for the reviewed copy of the movie, a process which is expected to take several days. This clarification comes in response to rumors circulating on Twitter that the film was banned in Punjab due to its alleged portrayal of pro-LGBTQ content.
Interestingly, some of the major cinemas in Lahore, such as Cue and Cine Star, did not have any scheduled shows for the movie on their websites at the time of this clarification. However, Universal Cinemas had listed shows for the movie.
The fantasy comedy film, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, centers around the iconic Barbie doll. It had already started its box-office debut in parts of Asia, and it is projected to make a substantial $100 million from US theatres over the weekend.
It’s worth noting that before this, Vietnam had banned the movie from its cinemas, citing scenes involving a map displaying China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
However, ‘Barbie’ has not been banned in Punjab, but its screening is on hold until the censor board reviews the film and decides whether it meets the criteria for public exhibition in Pakistan or not.