Lawmaker wants ‘Abominable’ banned in PH movie houses
MANILA, Philippines — A minority lawmaker is calling to ban the animated film “Abominable” from the country’s movie houses as it could “mislead” the Filipino into “believing a foreign country’s claim prejudicial to our national interest to be true and controlling.”
Agusan del Norte 1st district Rep. Lawrence Fortun on Thursday said that Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) cannot just “stand in the sidelines” especially when there are calls to boycott the movie.
“The movie ‘Abominable’ should be banned, or if it’s already showing in our movie houses, immediately stopped,” Fortun said in a statement.
“At the very least, considering the seriousness of the possible repercussions of the movie’s public showing, the MTRCB should suspend its showing in the meantime that it is investigating the adverse impact it can have in the minds of the Filipino audience,” he added.
He added that showing the movie on Philippine soil will have a “negative bearing on our integrity as a country and a nation.”
The movie became controversial as one of its scenes featured the South China Sea showing China’s nine-dash line claim. Vietnam has pulled the animated film from its theaters because of the said scene.
READ: Vietnam pulls ‘Abominable’ film over South China Sea map
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. proposed to “cut out” the said contentious scene and even suggested a “universal boycott of all @Dreamworks productions from here on.”
“No less than our Foreign Affairs Secretary has called for its boycott. Why not just ban it? The MTRCB can very well do that consistent with its mandate,” Fortun said.
READ: Locsin on ‘Abominable’: Boycott Dreamworks films, cut out ‘that scene’
Meanwhile, the idea of cutting out the sensitive scene, as well as other scenes “sensitive to the issues on the West Philippine Sea,” was agreeable to Fortun as he said it sends a message that the Philippine government “has not abandoned” the 2016 Hague arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea that invalidated China’s nine-dash line claims.
He also surmised that reviewers and even the top officials of the MTRCB were unaware of the nine-dash line map in the movie, as the agency gave the film a “G” classification before the controversy broke out.
“Had they been aware, they might have exercised more prudence and acted accordingly,” the lawmaker said. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.