Punjab stops screening of ‘Barbie’ due to ‘objectionable content’

Moviegoers pass by a poster of the film Barbie at a Cineplex in Islamabad on July 21, 2023.  - AFP
Visitors walk past a poster of the film “Barbie” at a Cineplex in Islamabad on July 21, 2023. – AFP
  • The official says that the screening of the film will be done after a “thorough review of the film”.
  • He says the film will be “censored where necessary”.
  • The officials give no explanation on the “objectionable” material.

Lahore: One of the most awaited films of the year, “Barbie”, released in cinema halls across the world on Friday; However, its screening in Punjab got delayed.

Authorities in Punjab banned the screening of the film in cinemas across the province due to “objectionable content”.

“The film will be thoroughly reviewed and censored where necessary,” said Farooq Mehmood, secretary of the Punjab Film Censor Board. AFP,

He said the fantasy-comedy film, which stars Margot Robbie as the famous Barbie doll and Ryan Gosling as her lover Ken, will be cleared for screening after the review and censoring process is over.

The board did not specify which content was “objectionable”, nor why.

While fans in the most populous province will have to wait to see “Barbie”, the film was screened on Friday in the capital Islamabad and Sindh, where it was cleared by the respective censor boards.

“I’ve been waiting to see Barbie for months. It doesn’t make any sense that it’s okay to be shown in Karachi or Islamabad, but not in Lahore,” said Nausheen Saad, a resident of Lahore. AFP,

In November, “Joyland” – a Cannes award-winning film and Pakistan’s entry for the 2023 Oscars – was banned by the government for being “clearly prejudicial to the country’s norms of decency and morality”.

“Joyland” depicts a Pakistani married man having an affair with a transgender woman.

The film was later cleared by the National Board of Censorship after the government ordered a review, but remained banned in Punjab.


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