Ryan Gosling as Ken in "Barbie" wearing a fur jacket and sunglasses posing smoothly.
(Warner Bros.)

Alleged Grown Man Ben Shapiro Lights Actual Barbies on Fire Because a Movie Hurt Him

Barbie really is just infuriating the man babies online. Leading the charge is their baby in chief, Ben Shapiro. He went to a screening cosplaying as Dream Ballet Ken and said he was “forced” to do it, seems to be silent on his feelings on Oppenheimer (which is fascinating because he loves Christopher Nolan despite Nolan probably hating men like Shapiro), and now, he’s posted an unhinged, 40+-minute video review for the movie. To be clear, Barbie is roughly about two hours long, so Shapiro was so moved by the movie that he went out of his way to trash talk it for nearly half the movie’s runtime.

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The most terrifying thing seems to be a clip from said review that has Shapiro burning Barbie, Ken, another Barbie, and her Barbie Jeep. First, he missed the trash can when he throws the Barbie doll and kept that in the video. Then, he decided to light the dolls on fire and put some weird screaming audio over it.

You don’t have to watch Shapiro’s unreasonably long video to understand the sum total of what insights he has to offer on the subject. He somehow managed to condense his analysis into a tweet saying it’s among the most “woke” (a word that has completely lost its meaning on the political right) movies he’s ever seen, “a flaming garbage heap of a film.”

What I don’t understand—and call me naive—is why someone who was this angry about a movie about a doll decided to go online and flip out in this way. The movie isn’t hurting anyone. If anything, when you actually look at the overall message, it is saying that neither a patriarchy nor a matriarchy works, but understanding that would require Shapiro to use his brain cells or to have any kind of media literacy.

No man should be this angry about Barbie

Look, movies can bring out a lot of emotions. I know there are some that I’ve hated, but I just quietly let it go after I saw it and got over it. This? This is something else entirely. Not only did Shapiro have to go out and buy the dolls, so he gave money to Mattel anyway, but he then went out of his way to burn some dolls because he didn’t like a movie. That is frankly not normal behavior. We knew that he wasn’t an okay man, as the things he gets angry about on a regular basis are absolutely off the rails, but this is something else. This man acted like Barbie was an affront to society.

The movie has a simple message by the end: Being a woman is hard, but it is what makes us so strong and special. That message, for whatever reason, caused Shapiro to have a meltdown where he … literally melted down some Barbie dolls. That’s not the sign of a man who is confident in himself. That’s someone who is pathetic and a disgrace. Barbie even tells men that they are also important, but somehow that message went right over Shapiro’s head. And he wonders why Hollywood didn’t want his movies.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.