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For ‘Barbie’ Fans Online, A Bitter, Ironic Oscar Snob

Written by The Anand Market

Updated on:

When the 2024 Oscar nominations were announced this morning, the snubs of the two most high-profile women involved in “Barbie” — director Greta Gerwig and lead actress Margot Robbie — became the main story.

The highest-grossing film of 2023, surpassing $1 billion worldwide, is based on the imaginary life and times of the iconic Mattel doll. A cultural phenomenon in itself, “Barbie,” along with “Oppenheimer,” became one half of a duo of unusually thoughtful summer blockbusters released on the same day in July (“Barbenheimer“): nothing to sneeze at.

It turns out that people online have strong opinions about today’s announcement.

“Let me see if I understand this: The Academy nominated “Barbie” for Best Picture (eight nominations total) – a film about women who are marginalized and made invisible in patriarchal structures – but not the woman who directed the film. Okay then,” reads a viral X-rated article by writer Charlotte Clymer.

The film wasn’t completely shut out: it was nominated for best picture, while Ms. Gerwig landed a nomination along with Noah Baumbach for adapted screenplay, Ryan Gosling for supporting actor and America Ferrera for lead. actress in a supporting role. But the fact that Mr. Gosling was cast as his blond-haired Ken, who discovers the idea of ​​patriarchy and then attempts to dominate Barbieland, before Ms. Robbie’s character destroys gender-based oppression, was too much. difficult for some to accept. I do patriarchy very well,” writer Jodi Lipper wrote in an Instagram story, quoting a line from Ken from the film.

(In a statement released today, Mr. Gosling wrote: “To say that I am disappointed that they were not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”)

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Indeed, because “Barbie” functions as a commentary on sexism and a meta-commentary on its own place in feminist discourse, the film itself was the first place some of its fans went to express their indignation at the snubs.

“Naming Ken but not Barbie is literally the plot of the movie,” novelist Brad Meltzer wrote in one thread, above a gif of Ms. Robbie, as Barbie, dancing and saying: “Is Are you already thinking about dying?”

“No but seriously…this could have been a scenario straight out of the movie Barbie,” read the caption of a popular TikTok post from this morning.

The awards won by Ms. Gerwig and Ms. Robbie’s male counterparts, Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy, on “Oppenheimer” were particularly galling to some..”

“Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie were as crucial to Barbie’s critical and commercial success as Nolan and Cillian Murphy were to Oppenheimer’s – imagine the outcry if one or both of these men had been snubbed! “It’s crazy how ‘Oscar-worthy’ Barbie is, but not the women who made her that way,” writer Zoë Rose Bryant posted on X.

The snub comes after Golden Globes host Jo Koy groaned during her monologue for comparing the source material for “Oppenheimer” (“a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book”) with that for “Barbie “. (“a plastic doll with big tits”).

For now, those hoping that the “Barbie” director and star will be recognized for his work will have to hope that the musical version of the film that the two teased earlier this month comes to fruition. There are always the Tonys.

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