UNLIKE VIETNAM’s order for a total pull-out of the computer-animated movie Abominable, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. has suggested cutting what he called the “offending scene,” which shows the nine-dash line claim of China in the South China Sea.
At the same time, Mr. Locsin opined that a call could be made for “a universal boycott of all @Dreamworks productions from here on.”
“What about cutting out that scene? You’re a lawyer, on what ground can we ban—and which agency has that power—an implicit message, assuming any Filipino will assert his First Amendment right in the case?” Mr. Locsin said late Tuesday in a social media exchange with Jay L. Batongbacal of the University of the Philippines.
The statement followed Vietnam’s move to pull out the movie from cinemas over a scene that showed the nine-dash line. The Dreamworks film was produced in partnership with Chinese film production company Pearl Studio.
China had long asserted it has historical claims over the South China Sea based on the nine-dash line, which covers part of the West Philippine Sea. An international tribunal’s ruling has debunked China’s claim.
In a follow-up post on Wednesday morning, Mr. Locsin asked Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chairwoman Maria Rachel J. Arenas to order the omission of the controversial scene.
“Of course, they should cut out the offending scene which will show our displeasure better than if we unconstitutionally ban it, as some suggest,” Mr. Locsin said in a separate post.
“Do cut out crudely. Maybe interject MTRCB head in cut out scene with a hectoring lecture. Then cartoon goes on.”
Mr. Batongbacal, Director of the UP Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said the MTRCB has authority to order the deletion.
“Agree this is a slippery slope, but think we should push back vs. CN propaganda tactics nonetheless. MTRCB technically has power to require deletion of objectionable portions of films for reasons that include,” Mr. Batongbacal said in response.
He also supported calling for boycott to avoid contributing to China’s profit as well as to discourage American companies, in partnership with China, to promote their propaganda. — Charmaine A. Tadalan