HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has pulled the Hollywood animation movie “Abominable” from theaters for featuring a scene with a map containing the controversial South China Sea nine-dash line, state media reported.
The dash line, which is used by China to mark its claim to the entire South China Sea, has been a subject of condemnation by Vietnam and others with claims to the sea, which is crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves.
“Abominable,” the story of a Chinese girl who helps a yeti get back to its home on Mount Everest, was produced by a collaboration between DreamWorks Animation and China-based Pearl Studio.
It was shown in Vietnamese cinemas for a week before its removal, the state-owned Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Monday.
“We will be more alert and more vigorous in censorship,” the head of the government’s cinema department, Nguyen Thu Ha, was quoted as saying.
The department is responsible for the censorship of all movies for violence, sex and unfavorable political messages in authoritarian Vietnam.
Trailers and other associated information for “Abominable” have been removed from the Vietnamese distributors’ website and social media channels. The movie’s trailer and posters were removed from advertising screens in theaters.
The film was also met with criticism from Vietnamese movie fans.
“It is an insult to Vietnam,” said student Minh Hieu, who was looking for a movie to watch on Tuesday afternoon.
Another student, Nguyen Mai Huong, said: “I wouldn’t watch it even if it still showed in the cinema. The (nine-dash) map is straight-up wrong. And I am absolutely not going to support it.”