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Movie Scenes Showing Underage, Public Drinking Are Now Banned in Vietnam

Under new regulations, directors will have to do away with scenes depicting teen drinking, among other depictions of alcohol consumption. 

According to Zing, on February 24, Decree 24 officially took effect. It details some new restrictions under the Law on Prevention and Control of Harmful Effects of Alcoholic Beverages on how media products, such as movies, TV series and stage plays, can depict alcohol consumption.

The decree stipulates that these productions are prohibited from showing characters under 18 drinking alcohol or being sold alcoholic drinks, unless these scenes are included to condemn underage drinking.

Moreover, projects are banned from showing drinking scenes at public venues including parks, bus stops, cinemas, amphitheaters and other cultural and sport facilities. They are also not allowed to include storylines that glamorize and praise organizations or individuals who are successful due to producing or selling alcoholic beverages.

In cases where depictions of drinking are shown, they are only allowed for the purposes of portraying historical figures, setting the scene for a historical period, or denouncing excessive drinking.

This is not the first time authorities have limited the consumption of vices on-screen. In 2018, Circular 25 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also came online. The circular placed similar restrictions on depictions of smoking in media productions.

For example, films and series are banned from showing controversial smoking situations such as smoking in the presence of young children or pregnant women, coercing others to smoke, selling cigarettes to those under 18, etc.

Vietnam’s laws are getting stricter when it comes to alcohol in a bid to curb its detrimental effects. The new Law on Prevention and Control of Harmful Effects of Alcoholic Beverages came into force back in January, placing severe punishments on drink-driving.

It’s still too early to determine whether it will have long-term implications on the relationship between Vietnam and alcohol, but so far some related stakeholders, such as beer producers and doctors at the ER, have felt its impact.

[Photo via Flickr user Mr.TinDC]

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