Fact Check: 'Barbie' Was NOT Banned In Serbia Because Of 'Greater Albania' Map -- Such A Map Isn't In Movie

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: 'Barbie' Was NOT Banned In Serbia Because Of 'Greater Albania' Map -- Such A Map Isn't In Movie Fact Check: 'Barbie' Was NOT Banned In Serbia Because Of 'Greater Albania' Map -- Such A Map Isn't In Movie Altered Image

Was the film "Barbie" banned in Serbia because of a scene containing a map of "Greater Albania"? No, that's not true: The film was not banned in Serbia and such a map doesn't appear in the movie.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) posted to TikTok on July 5, 2023. It contained a supposed screenshot of an article with a headline that read:

Barbie movie banned in Serbia over controversial 'Greater Albania' map

The alleged screenshot also contained what looks to be an image from "Barbie" with Margot Robbie, the star of the movie, standing by a map of eastern Europe.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

barbie greater albania TIkTok.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jul 25 16:00:37 2023 UTC)

'Barbie' isn't banned in Serbia

Lead Stories could not find any credible information supporting the claim that "Barbie" was banned from theaters in Serbia. The movie's Internet Movie Database page states that the movie premiered in Serbia on July 20, 2023. According to the movie and showtimes information website Kinoafisha, the movie is being shown in several theaters in Serbia.

'Greater Albania' map does not appear in 'Barbie'

"Barbie" did not even have its Los Angeles premiere until July 9, 2023. Therefore, whoever created the post making this claim on July 5, 2023, could have only used images from the movie's trailers. Those making the claim seemed to use a brief scene found at the 1:01 mark of the movie's main trailer. The scene does not contain a map of "Greater Albania," but instead, as shown below, features a childlike "world map," seemingly drawn by an inhabitant of Barbie Land who does not know what a world map looks like. A screenshot of the trailer at the moment the "world map" appears is shown below:

barbie trailer screenshot.png
(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Tue Jul 25 16:05:45 2023 UTC)

The screenshot of the "Barbie" scene was altered to include the map of "Greater Albania." The idea behind "Greater Albania" is that Albanians across several eastern European countries should belong to one state.

No article with 'Greater Albania' headline

Lead Stories also could not locate an article with the title shown in the post making the claim. We searched for such an article using Google News and did not find any credible media results that matched the headline.

Vietnam does ban 'Barbie'

Although "Barbie" is not banned in Serbia, it is banned in Vietnam over the "world map" scene. Vietnamese officials believe that the "world map" shows the nine-dash line used by China to claim exclusive rights to the majority of the South China Sea. Depictions of China's nine-dash line map in popular culture have been disputed by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration located in The Hague determined that "there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line.'" China does not recognize this decision.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines also reviewed the movie to determine whether it would ban it due to the "world map" scene. However, it decided to release the movie and requested that the "world map" be blurred because of the dashes in the map near what would be the South China Sea.

Warner Bros., the company that distributed the movie, said in a statement that the map was "child-like" and "was not intended to make any type of statement."

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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