Senator Ted Cruz and Barbie star, Margot Robbie.
Sen. Ted Cruz called the new Barbie movie "Chinese communist propaganda."Scott Olson via Getty Images; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images
  • Ted Cruz slammed the "Barbie" movie for its depiction of a disputed region in the South China Sea.
  • "This is Chinese communist propaganda," Cruz told The Daily Signal on Sunday.
  • The movie has also caused controversy among claimant nations, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Sen. Ted Cruz really doesn't like the "Barbie" movie.

The Texas lawmaker this weekend ripped the movie and accused it of pandering to the Chinese censors and feeding young girls with "communist propaganda" with its depiction of a contested region in the South China Sea

"There's a scene in 'Barbie,' where there is this map of the world, and it's drawn like with crayon. I mean, it's really a very simple cartoon. And so they have this blockish thing that is called 'Asia.' And then they've drawn what are called the nine-dashes," Cruz said in an interview with The Daily Signal on Sunday.

"This is Chinese communist propaganda in which the Chinese are asserting sovereignty over the entirety of the South China Sea. And they don't have any right to it under international law, but they are trying to take it away from their neighbors there," Cruz added.

This is not the first time the Texas Republican has weighed in on the "Barbie" movie. Cruz previously criticized the movie on his podcast and on Twitter.

"We've seen an ongoing pattern of Hollywood movies kowtowing to the Chinese communists," Cruz said in his podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," on July 7. 

"And they recognize that repeating what makes the Chinese Communist Party and the government happy increases the chances that the government will allow the movie to be sold in China," Cruz said on his podcast. "But I got to say it is shameful to see Hollywood acting as a mouthpiece for the Chinese communists."

China's nine-dash line depicts China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, and encompasses much of the region. In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague found that China's territorial claims had no legal basis and ruled that China had violated international law.

The ruling hasn't stopped China from asserting control over the region. China has built 20 outposts in the Paracel Islands, a group of small islands and reefs in the South China Sea.  

The US has no territorial claims in the South China Sea but has carried out regular naval operations in the region.

"The United States is defending every nation's right to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as USS Benfold did this week. Nothing PRC says otherwise will deter us," the US Navy said in a statement on January 20, 2022, when it conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea

"Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded commerce, and freedom of economic opportunity for South China Sea littoral nations," the US Navy added.

The "Barbie" movie's depiction of the disputed region in the South China Sea has also caused controversy among claimant nations, Vietnam and the Philippines. Vietnam banned the movie while Philippine censors asked the movie's distributor, Warner Bros., to "blur the controversial lines in order to avoid further misinterpretations." 

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. told Variety on July 6 that the "map in Barbie Land is a child-like crayon drawing." 

"The doodles depict Barbie's make-believe journey from Barbie Land to the 'real world.' It was not intended to make any type of statement," the spokesman said.

Representatives for Cruz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.

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