Vietnam Demands Removal of Chinese Film from Netflix

A scene of film Flight To You on Netflix (Photo: Screenshot)

Cinema Department of Vietnam Takes Action Against Inappropriate Netflix Content in “Flight To You”

HANOI – Vietnam’s Cinema Department has issued a formal request to Netflix Vietnam and FPT Telecom JSC to remove the Chinese film “Flight To You” from their platforms due to its depiction of the controversial nine-dash line, which infringes upon Vietnam’s sovereignty. In a recent dispatch, the watchdog thoroughly reviewed all 39 episodes of the series and identified multiple instances where the nine-dash line appeared on maps, specifically in episodes 18, 19, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, and 38, according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Despite FPT Telecom’s efforts to blur the images of the maps, the Cinema Department concluded that the film contains inappropriate content that undermines national sovereignty. Consequently, the department has urged Netflix Vietnam and FPT Telecom to remove the film within 24 hours, beginning at 0:00 on July 10. Additionally, the Cinema Department expects both companies to provide a report detailing their compliance with the request by July 12.

A screenshot of a scene in "Flight to You" on Netflix showing a map with the nine-dash line
A screenshot of a scene in “Flight to You” on Netflix showing a map with the nine-dash line

Netflix has also faced similar issues with its series “Pine Gap,” as two episodes depicting the nine-dash line were removed from the service in the Philippines after local regulators deemed them “unfit for public exhibition.” Vietnam previously complained about the series, leading Netflix to pull all six episodes from its platform in the country.

The call for removal comes in the wake of another film controversy in Vietnam. The highly anticipated blockbuster movie, “Barbie,” has been banned due to a scene featuring a map displaying the South China Sea—a strategically vital body of water that is fiercely disputed by China and several neighbouring countries, many of which maintain close ties with the United States (US).

Margot Robie in ‘Barbie’ by Warner Bros.

Ban on “Barbie” Movie Adds to Controversy Surrounding Sensitive Geopolitical Issue

Warner Bros, the studio behind “Barbie,” defended the film, emphasizing that the map in question was nothing more than a “child-like crayon drawing” and should not be interpreted as a political statement. Nevertheless, the ban has intensified discussions surrounding the sensitive geopolitical issue.

Vietnam’s decision to remove “Flight To You” aligns with its efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and protect its territorial integrity. The nine-dash line, a disputed demarcation used by China to claim vast portions of the South China Sea, has been a contentious issue among Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam. The depiction of the nine-dash line in media, especially in films, has been viewed as provocative and disrespectful towards countries with conflicting territorial claims.

The presence of the nine-dash line in various forms of entertainment has become a contentious issue. China has long used this line to assert its claim over the majority of the South China Sea, despite the rejection of neighbouring countries and invalidation by an international tribunal. The Philippines and Vietnam have been the most active in disputing China’s expansive claims.

Credit: RFA

Netflix Vietnam and FPT Telecom JSC play significant roles in the country’s digital entertainment landscape, and their cooperation with the Cinema Department’s request will not only demonstrate their respect for Vietnamese sovereignty but also support the overall efforts to maintain regional stability.

Two removed episodes of Pine Gap on Netflix were set in the context of South China Sea tensions and showed the nine-dash line.
Two removed episodes of Pine Gap on Netflix were set in the context of South China Sea tensions and showed the nine-dash line.

Read Also: Vietnam Bans Screening of Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” Due to Controversial Map

In conclusion, the request to remove the film “Flight To You” is part of Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to protect its sovereignty and counter China’s territorial claims. The ban of “Barbie” and removal of episodes from “Pine Gap” reflect the broader issue of China’s inclusion of the nine-dash line in entertainment media. These incidents raise concerns about the impact of propaganda and the need for a comprehensive strategy to address the spread of China’s sovereignty claims. – BERNAMA-VNA