THE PHILIPPINES has pulled the plug on all domestic screenings of a Hollywood film called Uncharted over a scene showing a disputed map of the South China Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.

The move comes shortly after Vietnam, another claimant in the South China Sea, also banned the Sony Pictures action movie, which stars Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. It was released in the Philippines on Feb. 23.

A two-second frame in the movie contains an image of the so-called nine-dash line, which marks China’s claims in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway. The scene “is contrary to national interest,” DFA said in a statement.

The U-shaped line is a feature used on Chinese maps to illustrate its maritime territory in a region where Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines all have competing claims.

A 2016 ruling by a United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague voided China’s claims to almost the entire waterway through which about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes annually. Beijing did not participate in the court proceedings and does not recognize the ruling. 

Sony’s Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. was ordered to stop screening the film and has complied, DFA said. Sony Pictures did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. 

In 2019, DFA asked DreamWorks to shut down cinema screenings of the animated film Abominable after a scene showed the same Chinese nine-dash line map. — Reuters