A new report claims the upcoming Barbie film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling is a “feminist” film.
Time’s Eliana Dockterman, known for getting called out for her extreme political views by former Superman actor Dean Cain, recently reported numerous actors and actresses in Barbie informed her the film is indeed a feminist movie.
While discussing the film with Mattel Films’ Executive Producer Robbie Brenner, she informed her that the film is “not a feminist movie.”
However, Dockterman reported that Brenner’s comments were “a striking contrast to my interpretation of the film and conversations with many of the actors, who used that term unprompted to describe the script.”
In fact, she broached the topic with the film’s star Margot Robbie who reacted by raising an eyebrow and asking, “Who said that? It’s not that it is or it isn’t. It’s a movie. It’s a movie that’s got so much in it.”
Robbie would add, “We’re in on the joke. This isn’t a Barbie puff piece.”
This report comes after Robbie sat down with Fandango and revealed the film is about “having a relevant conversation about where the world wis today and then also be acknowledging like this long 60+ year history. It’s just a lot of things to do at once and she does it so deftly and ultimately the whole experience is still fun. Like it’s so fun and weirdly emotional.”
Actress Issa Rae, who plays President Barbie in the film, also made clear the film has feminist messaging. While asking how she identifies a Ken, Rae said, “I think a Ken for me is just kind of there. I think a Ken is just a great accessory. That’s what I loved about Greta’s imagining of Barbie is that the Ken’s are just supplemental characters to these Barbies while Barbies can do everything Kens are there to kind of support and don’t necessarily have their own story.”
She added, “And I think that’s not necessarily a negative thing. It’s incredibly strong for men to be in supportive roles and to support the greatness that is women/Barbie.”
Kate McKinnon would then reveal the script from the film is “about how like gender roles deny people half their humanity and how like we need to just like be ourselves and it’s a like a very powerful message.”
When attempting to explain how she identifies a Ken she said, “And so like I spot a Ken, everyone’s themselves, you know.”
Robbie previously revealed back in December 2020 to The Hollywood Reporter in an interview alongside her producer partner Josey McNamara that she planned to subvert moviegoers’ expectations of the movie.
McNamara informed the outlet, “We used to say we want things to be subversive, but now it’s more about how is it surprising? There’s so many things that are trying to be subversive these days but very few things that are actually surprising.
Robbie added, “And we like the things that feel a little left of center. Something like Barbie where the IP, the name itself, people immediately have an idea of, ‘Oh, Margot is playing Barbie, I know what that is,’ but our goal is to be like, ‘Whatever you’re thinking, we’re going to give you something totally different — the thing you didn’t know you wanted.’”
When The Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose commented, “Having Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach attached to write it in itself subverts expectations …” Robbie replied, “Yes. Now, can we truly honor the IP and the fan base and also surprise people?”
“Because if we can do all that and provoke a thoughtful conversation, then we’re really firing on all cylinders,” she concluded.
In that same interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robbie noted that one of her production company’s main goals was to promote female stories from female creators.
She said, “In starting any business, it’s about identifying a gap in the market. And the conversation started because I was like, ‘I keep picking up scripts, and I never want to play the girl, I just want to play the guy.’ And I can’t be [the only one].”
“There are brilliant actresses who aren’t getting amazing roles. And beyond that, you look at the statistics of male versus female directors, male versus female writers, etc., and there’s so much to be done. You can’t just sit there and do nothing when you hear those stats,” she added.
What do you make of this new report that the Barbie film is feminist despite Mattel executives denying it?