Barbie tries to stop two Kens from fighting in the Barbie movie.

Everyone Needs To Calm Down About the Supposed ‘Barbie’ Snubs

Barbie scored 8 Oscar nominations when the 2024 list dropped on January 23. From the reaction online, you’d think that the movie was completely ignored. Currently, conversations are swirling about Margot Robbie not getting a Best Actress nod and Greta Gerwig not getting Best Director.

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An innocent conversation about these omissions has now turned into absolute buffoonery online. I am someone who naively thought, “Huh, weird that Gerwig has now twice been looked over for a Best Director nom” while also saying the same thing about Celine Song’s snub. I thought, “Obviously, the internet will be thinking about both of these women and their work in tandem today.” I could not have been more wrong.

For hours after the nominations came out, people online screamed about the injustices towards Robbie and Gerwig all while both did score nominations in other categories. Many completely missed the point of an acting award and complained that Ryan Gosling got nominated over Robbie for his work as Ken, all while ignoring America Ferrera’s very deserved nomination.

Then came the piece from the LA Times. In a frankly racist and sexist piece trying to form a rallying cry for Robbie and Gerwig, the piece by Mary McNamara makes horrifying digs at Lily Gladstone’s nominated performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, which resulted in a historic nomination, and goes on to poke jabs at the work of other women to make some asinine point.

Fighting some fight that is invisible, so many took to social media to show their absolute tunnel vision and white feminist outlook by being loud voices for only Robbie and Gerwig, ignoring all of the good that happened, as well.

All of this to say: actually, calm down. You’re ruining Barbie for everyone when you act like this.

This is not why I loved Barbie.

I grew up as a Barbie girl. Every year, my mother still buys me the latest Hallmark ornament for Barbie, and we add it to my tree (which has 25+ ornaments at this point). That doesn’t mean my relationship to the doll was not complicated, and I often felt I had to look a certain way to be a Barbie girl. What Barbie gave me was a movie that taught me that you don’t have to be a certain size or look the part to be a figure like Barbie.

Seeing all the different women in Barbieland was inspiring to me. What isn’t inspiring is watching as mainly white women take to X (formerly Twitter) to scream about these “snubs” while ignoring that Celine Song was also not nominated for Best Director—while ignoring that America Ferrera DID get a nomination. They’re complaining about what didn’t happen and ignoring that Margot Robbie is up for Best Picture as a producer, for a production company she helped to start.

The cries of “injustice” have drowned out Lily Gladstone being the first Indigenous American from the United States to take home an acting nomination. Justine Triet was nominated for the first time for Best Director for her work on Anatomy of a Fall, which she also wrote! All of these loud voices are ignoring these wins to scream about how Gerwig and Robbie not getting two specific nominations are an injustice to women everywhere.

It’s not. I think it’s annoying that Gerwig continues to not get Best Director, and I don’t know if I would have even nominated Robbie for that performance. I think her role in Asteroid City was revolutionary. In fact, I would have added Greta Lee to the nominees before I would Robbie. While all of that is my opinion, what is not cool is the loud voices acting as if these two white women were wronged and ignoring the women of color who also were either snubbed or being so loud that the WOC who were nominated are then not praised as they should be.

It’s embarrassing. You’re making my love of this movie feel gross, and that’s not fair to me or anyone else who loved Barbie. You don’t get to be the one singular voice speaking about this movie, and I am frankly very tired of listening to you talk of what you do not know.

(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.