Even “Barbie” cannot escape the great political divide in America.
Some right-wingers are losing it over the new and inclusive Barbie movie, critiquing its expansive view of gender and even calling it communist propaganda.
The Greta Gerwig-directed film, which opens Friday, depicts a land in which various Barbies and Kens have an idyllic life. But one of them, played by Margot Robbie, decides to see what the outside world is like, and she’s in for some surprises.
Another one of the Barbies is played by transgender actress Hari Nef. “As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in this [movie], I think there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life and being in your body your way, on your own terms,” she recently told Out,a sister publication of The Advocate. “The best that we can do as women, as trans women, is be there for each other and take ourselves at face value, without relying on the green light from someone or anyone else.”
Other actors in the movie have made similar comments about its inclusive view of gender. “I knew it was going to be something and then I read it, and it was like, sort of about how like gender roles deny people half their humanity and how like we need to just like be ourselves,” lesbian actress Kate McKinnon told Fandango.
This was all too much for some right-wing commentators and politicians. The film “forgets its core audience of families and children while catering to nostalgic adults and pushing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender character stories,” wrote a contributor to Movieguide,a site with a conservative Christian bent. The article was headlined “WARNING: Don’t Take Your Daughter to Barbie.” Fox News quoted and amplified the Movieguide piece.
A separate Movieguide article quoted Nef’s Out interview again and interpreted her words to mean that Barbie “is an exploration of femininity and sexualization, with a clear, gross agenda in mind to push sexuality onto children.”
Others objecting to Nef’s presence in the movie include right-wing pundit Charlie Kirk, who dubbed the trailer “the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” and fellow conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who said the film is a “woke bleep show,” Rolling Stone reports.
Then there are those who found the primary Ken character, played by Ryan Gosling, to be insufficiently masculine. Ginger Gaetz, wife of far-right Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, wrote on Twitter that when they attended the premiere, she saw “disappointingly low T from Ken,” referring to testosterone, and she also called him a “beta” male, not an alpha. (Note: He’s a doll without genitalia.)
Check out some reaction below.
Thinking about watching the Barbie movie?
I'd recommend sticking to getting outfit inspiration and skipping the theater. Here's why:
The Barbie I grew up with was a representation of limitless possibilities, embracing diverse careers and feminine empowerment.
The 2023 Barbie… pic.twitter.com/AsparSgvS4
— Ginger Gaetz (@LuckeyGinger) July 18, 2023
"Is Barbie Communist?"
— The Recount (@therecount) July 5, 2023
I guess Barbie is made in China…. https://t.co/CDB1IzZcvm
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 3, 2023