Vietnam requests Netflix remove ‘Little Women’ over distortion of Vietnam War events

Vietnamese press law prohibits content that 'distorts history'

Vietnam has reportedly requested that Netflix stop showing the Korean drama Little Women in the country over scenes inaccurately discussing the Vietnam War.

The dispute revolves around the recently aired eighth episode of the series, involving a Korean military veteran bragging about the achievements of Korean soldiers in the Vietnam War, which saw more than 320,000 Koreans deploying to Vietnam in support of US troops.

The veteran bragged: “in our best battles, the kill-to-death ratio for Korean troops was 20:1. That’s 20 Viet Cong killed for one Korean soldier dead.”‘

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In a letter sighted by Vietnamese newspaper Truoi Tre, as per Bloomberg, Vietnam’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said that the series had broken Clause 4, Article 9 of the Vietnamese Press Law. The law prohibits media from broadcasting information that incites war, infringes upon Vietnam’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, distorts history, denies revolutionary achievements or insults the nation, conditions also reflected in Vietnam’s Law on Cinema.

According to Vietnamnet, Netflix is currently processing the request, but the series will be made unavailable in Vietnam later this week.

Little Women is loosely based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. Starring Goblin‘s Kim Go Eun, the series follows three sisters who grew up in poverty and eventually become embroiled in a case against the most wealthy family in Korea after KRW70 billion goes missing.

This is not the first time a Netflix offering has fallen afoul of Vietnam’s media laws. The 2020 Chinese rom-com Put Your Head On My Shoulder and the 2021 Australian spy series Pine Gap were removed from the platform in Vietnam after authorities decreed that the series had offended Vietnam’s sovereignty by showing images of China’s disputed ‘nine-dash-line’ that infringes upon the territorial waters of several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.

The US political drama Madam Secretary also ran afoul of Vietnam’s media laws when it captioned a scene of the ancient Hoi An city as ‘Fuling, China’ in 2020.

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