Fans outraged by Barbie snub at Oscars nominations: 'Literally the plot of the movie'

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie accepts the award for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement for ‘Barbie’ at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. Picture: AFP

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie accepts the award for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement for ‘Barbie’ at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. Picture: AFP

Published Jan 25, 2024


The announcement of Oscar nominations always generates a bit of buzz, with fans weighing in on which movies and which actors deserved recognition and didn't get it.

But few snubs have provoked as much online outrage as those delivered to summer blockbuster ‘Barbie’, a deft satire on the difficulties women face in being recognised for their talents, whose female director and female lead did not make the shortlist.

Especially as the male actor playing Ken did.

"Nominating Ken but not Barbie is literally the plot of the movie," novelist Brad Meltzer wrote on social media.

Greta Gerwig's fizzing audience-pleaser, which took over $1-billion at the box office with its effortless melding of social commentary and bubblegum pop culture, had been seen as a lock for many of the biggest categories when the Oscars nominations were announced on Tuesday.

Both Gerwig as director and star Margot Robbie had already garnered a suite of nominations in earlier awards and were expected to feature in the line-up for Hollywood's top prizes.

But while the film notched an impressive eight nods, including the coveted Best Picture, Gerwig and Robbie were left off the lists for director and leading actress.

Ryan Gosling, who earned a supporting actor nomination for his efforts as Ken, was among the first to speak out.

"No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius," he said.

"To say that I'm disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement."

Fellow Ken actor Simu Liu lauded the way the two women had fought to make ‘Barbie’ the movie it was.

"Together they started a movement, touched the world and reinvigorated the cinema. They deserve everything. They ARE everything," he wrote on social media.

And it wasn't just those involved in the movie who were annoyed.

"Let me see if I understand this: the Academy nominated 'Barbie' for Best Picture (eight nominations total) - a film about women being sidelined and rendered invisible in patriarchal structures - but not the woman who directed the film," wrote Charlotte Clymer on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

As the outrage spread on Wednesday, one-time US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in.

Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump because of the mathematics of the electoral college system, despite having a significant majority of the popular vote.

"Greta & Margot, While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you. You're both so much more than Kenough. #HillaryBarbie," she wrote on X.