(CTN NEWS) – Roughly four weeks after its initial release in Algeria, the “Barbie” film was abruptly removed from theaters within the country this week.
The movie has been swiftly withdrawn from cinemas in Algiers, Oran, and Constantine, as reported by the online news outlet 24H Algerie.
No clear explanation or official communication has been issued by either the ministry or the Algerian Audiovisual Regulatory Authority regarding this alleged directive.
The premiere of “Barbie” took place just last month in a limited number of Algerian theaters. However, as of this week, the distributors have ceased to schedule screenings for this popular Hollywood production.
This decision comes on the heels of a similar move made by Kuwaiti and Lebanese authorities, who banned the live-action adaptation of the iconic American fashion dolls for purportedly undermining traditional values.
Algerians Protest Movie Cancellation, “Barbie” Film Sparks Morality Debate
On social media platforms, a chorus of Algerian voices expressed their dissatisfaction with the abrupt cancellation of the movie, rallying around the hashtag “#IAmBarbie.” Others denounced the move as both “censorship” and “bigotry.”
Author Leila Belkacem captured another perspective, asserting that the “Barbie” film was deemed a “threat to morality” by certain individuals.
In a Facebook post, she questioned the basis of these moral concerns, juxtaposing them against the prevalence of explicit content consumed privately. She challenged the nation’s tendency to be led astray by such somber illusions.
Retired educator Fatima Ait Kaci shared her personal disappointment with the Associated Press, recounting her commitment to taking her visiting granddaughters from Canada to see the film.
Ait Kaci revealed her shock when, upon arriving at Algiers’ Riadh El Feth theatre, they discovered that the film had been replaced by a different screening scheduled for the 3:00–5:00 p.m. time slot.
In a firm stance, she criticized the Algerian government for evading responsibility and failing to openly acknowledge their involvement in what she described as a disgraceful act of censorship.
Temporary Suspension of Es Salam TV Channel’s Broadcast Schedule Amid Controversy and Allegations
The broadcasting schedule of the private TV channel Es Salam has been “temporarily” suspended, as announced by the Audiovisual Regulatory Authority in the past week.
The suspension comes in response to allegations that Es Salam aired a program in an irresponsible and unprofessional manner, featuring scenes that go against the principles of Islam and the established way of life in Algerian society.
The movie “Barbie” does not contain explicit sexual references or references to LGBTQ+ rights.
Nevertheless, it appears to have ignited a controversy due to its conspicuous extravagance and its message promoting inclusivity and gender equality, a theme that stands in contrast to traditional perceptions in a society where homosexuality is often considered a sensitive and taboo subject.
Since its initial release, the Warner Bros. film has amassed a global box office revenue exceeding $1 billion.
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