Barbie director Greta Gerwig recently reacted to critics of the film describing it as a woke.
Novelist and comic book creator Jon Del Arroz not only described the film as woke, but shared that the entire opening sequence of the film features a pro-child murder allegory.
He explained, “Barbie opens up with a scene which is actually a little girl playing with a baby doll. And in an allegory for abortion and training women to abort their babies to be happy, she destroys the little baby doll and looks up at Margot Robbie, who’s this beautiful, wonderful, thin physique, and she wants that out of her life. That she’s become a career woman who doesn’t care about such things. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing according to these people. So it’s a pro baby killing movie immediately out the gate.”
He concluded his review stating, “Man-hating film, pro-trans film, pro-homosexual film, pro-abortion film and this is exactly what we’ve gotten out of this kids property, which should have just been a fun movie.”
Del Arroz is not alone in his criticism, YouTuber Lauren Chen in her review described the film saying, “Mattel, if you ask me my opinion — don’t sue me — was actively trying to hide the fact that Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, who was a producer in this film, they made a woke AF film. And Mattel and the marketing people knew that is not what audiences wanted, and so they did their darndest, they did their best, and they succeeded at trying to hide that.”
She later added, “This movie is admittedly feminist. It’s woker than I would have thought possible, honestly.”
Speaking with The New York Times, Gerwig responded to critics like Del Arroz and Chen when she was asked by Kyle Buchanan, “Did you anticipate the degree to which right-wing pundits are bashing the movie as being “woke” and burning their Barbies?”
She responded, “No, I didn’t. Certainly, there’s a lot of passion. My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men.”
“I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people,” she added.
Gerwig also addressed reports that Mattel executives wanted to take out the line where Ariana Greenblatt’s character Sasha describes Barbie as sexist and fascist.
Time’s Elana Dockterman previously reported that Mattel President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson flew to the set of the film in London in an attempt to have a discussion about a “particular scene, which he felt was off-brand.” However, upon seeing the scene performed in front of him he reportedly changed his mind.
Margot Robbie, who plays Stereotypical Barbie, informed Dockterman, “When you look on the page, the nuance isn’t there, the delivery isn’t there.”
Buchanan asked Gerwig, “It’s been reported that Mattel executives flew to the London set to try to convince you to take out the scene where Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), a teenage character from the real world, calls Barbie dolls sexist and fascist. True?”
She replied, “I will say, that’s always sounded so dramatic: They were coming anyway, so it wasn’t like, ‘Stop everything, we all have to go to London!’ But with that scene in particular, my awareness of Barbie as a thing in the world completely corresponded with me knowing the arguments against Barbie. I didn’t think there was any way to do this without giving that real estate and having well-articulated, correct arguments from a really smart character given to Barbie against Barbie.”
She added, “Also, I grew up with a mom who was kind of against Barbie, so that’s how I knew all that. If you don’t give voice to that, then you’re nowheresville.”
Gerwig continued, “It wasn’t like I ever got the full seal of approval from [Mattel], like, “We love it!” I got a tentative, “Well, OK. I see that you are going to do this, so go ahead and we’ll see how it goes.” But that’s all you need, and I had faith once it was in there and they saw it that they would embrace it, not fight it.”
She concluded, “Maybe at the end of the day, my will to have it in was stronger than any other will to take it out.”
Despite the film’s critics, Barbie appears to have resonated with moviegoers. The film grossed $162 million domestically in its opening weekend and another $182 million internationally for a global opening weekend of $344 million.
In the film’s first Monday it raked in another $26.1 million domestically. Early estimates for Tuesday grosses also show it at $26 million. Excluding the early estimates for for Tuesday, the film has currently grossed $188.1 million domestically and another $194.2 million internationally for a global gross of $382.2 million.
On top of the film raking it in at the box office, the movie also has an A Cinemascore.
As for who is making up the moviegoing audience for Barbie, according to demographic data from Box Office Pro a massive majority (81%) of people attending the film are under the age of 35. The majority of film goers are also female with 65% of the audience being female.
What do you make of Gerwig’s response?