‘Barbie’ Oscar snub spark backlash, fans decry real-world patriarchy

Despite securing eight nominations, including Best Picture, the omission of Gerwig and Robbie stirred disappointment among fans, who argue it echoes the film’s exploration of patriarchy.

| Updated: 24 January, 2024 5:33 pm IST

NEW DELHI: At the 96th Academy Awards nominations, the iconic ‘Barbie’ found itself at the centre of controversy as director Greta Gerwig and lead actress Margot Robbie were notably absent from the Best Director and Best Actress categories.

Despite securing eight nominations, including Best Picture, the omission of Gerwig and Robbie stirred disappointment among fans, who argue it echoes the film’s exploration of patriarchy.

While ‘Barbie’ enthusiasts celebrated the film’s overall recognition, the Oscars’ decision to overlook Gerwig and Robbie raised eyebrows, prompting discussions on social media.

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Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken in the film, secured nominations for Best Supporting Actor and a nod for the musical number “I’m Just Ken.” This led to social media users questioning the Academy’s choices, suggesting that the nominations contradicted the film’s feminist themes.

Some users pointed out the irony of Gosling’s nomination over Robbie, considering the movie’s exploration of patriarchy. Screenshots of a shocked Barbie doll accompanied by captions expressing disbelief flooded social media, with one user stating, “Nominating Ken but not Barbie is literally the plot of the movie.”

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The backlash extended to comparisons with other nominated films, such as ‘Oppenheimer,’ where male counterparts Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy received accolades. Critics emphasised the crucial roles played by Gerwig and Robbie in the critical and commercial success of ‘Barbie,’ questioning the film’s ‘Oscar-worthiness’ without recognising the women who shaped it.

Greta Gerwig did secure a nomination alongside Noah Baumbach for Best Adapted Screenplay, acknowledging their contribution to the film’s script. However, the absence of Gerwig and Robbie in their respective individual categories left fans perplexed.

This snub follows a trend of oversight for ‘Barbie’ at previous awards shows, notably drawing attention during the Golden Globes, where host Jo Koy made light of the source material’s comparison between ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘Barbie.’

As fans express disappointment and confusion over the Oscar nominations, some optimistically look forward to Ryan Gosling’s potential performance of ‘I’m Just Ken’ during the awards ceremony.

The 96th Academy Awards, scheduled for March 10, will determine whether ‘Barbie’ can turn the tide and secure victory despite the controversy surrounding its notable snubs.

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