Hollywood film “Uncharted” was pulled out from Philippine cinemas over a scene containing an image of the nine-dash line, an invisible demarcation that depicts China’s claims in the South China Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs Wednesday said it requested the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to reevaluate and pull out the screening of the adventure film, which stars Tom Holland, saying the nine-dash line image was “contrary to national interest.”
In a response quoted by the DFA, MTRCB stated it had “ordered Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. to cease and desist from exhibiting the said motion picture, unless and until they are able to remove the objectionable scenes.”
The MTRCB added Columbia had since complied with its order and had pulled out the movie from the cinemas.
“The nine-dash claim is contrary to national interest, which has been settled in the 2016 Arbitral Award. The Arbitral Tribunal held that China’s nine-dash line has no legal basis as its accession to UNCLOS has extinguished any of its rights that it may have had in the maritime areas in the South China Sea,” the DFA said.
“China also never had historic rights in the waters within the nine-dash line,” it added.
Last March, Vietnam blocked “Uncharted” in its cinemas over the same map prior to its screening on March 18.
The action-and-adventure caper “Uncharted” shows a map featuring the so-called nine-dash line, which sets out Beijing’s expansive claims to the disputed waters, where Hanoi has rival claims.
The South China Sea is home to valuable oil and gas deposits and shipping lanes, and several of China’s neighbours have voiced concern that it was seeking to expand its reach.
This is not the first time that the agency sought to prohibit the screening of a Hollywood movie featuring China’s nine-dash line.
In 2019, it requested the MTRCB to pull out the DreamWorks animated feature “Abominable” after a scene showed a similar map.