The Print

The Student News Site of Fallston High School

The Print

The Print

Plot of Barbie Proved in 2024 Oscar Nominations

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie at the Barbie movie premier. Photo courtesy of Variety.
Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie at the Barbie movie premier. Photo courtesy of Variety.

Every year, the Oscars provide a time for actors, actresses, directors, producers, and more to reflect on their year’s work. It also provides a time for fans to guess which of their favorite performers will get the recognition they deserve. With the release of nominations comes expected controversy, but on a relatively minor scale. This year, as fans and nominees alike scanned the list, they seemed to notice one thing over and over again: Where were all of the Barbie nominations?  

To no one’s surprise, Oppenheimer was recognized in full, earning nominations for actors in both leading and supporting roles, directing, editing, and more. Yet, despite being the highest grossing film of 2023 and Warner Bros’ most successful global release in history, Barbie, and the two women who made the film happen, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig, seemed to have been ‘snubbed’ of their chance to take home the gold.  

If Robbie and Gerwig being passed over for Best Leading Actress and Best Director, respectively, didn’t upset fans enough, seeing Ryan Gosling’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Ken certainly worsened the uproar. Fans have taken to numerous social media platforms to express their outrage, with one TikTok user stating that “a woman could do everything right, but the patriarchy will still find something wrong.”  

Though many are outraged about the Barbie snubs, it is no secret that the Oscars have, historically, favored males. Since the first Oscars in 1929, there have been just three women to ever win the Best Director award: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2009), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland, 2020), and Jane Champion (The Power of the Dog, 2021).  

“While Greta Gerwig’s Barbie reigned supreme as the number one box office film, women remain dramatically underrepresented as directors,” a report on women’s employment in film from San Diego State University states. “Greta Gerwig’s well-deserved triumph belied the gender inequality that pervades the mainstream film industry.” 

It is important to note that while Gosling and Robbie were not up against each other for the Best Actor/Actress role, one’s nomination and the other’s lack thereof still speaks to the patriarchy embedded in, to many, the most prestigious award in the entertainment industry.  

Gosling made a statement after the nominations expressing his disappointment in the lack of nominations for Robbie and Gerwig, describing how “there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally celebrated film.” 

Like Gosling stated, there is no Ken without Barbie. Photo courtesy of BuzzFeed News.

In a surprising turn, America Ferrera was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Gloria. Her lengthy and passionate monologue that describes the unachievable expectations set on women is assumed to be the basis of her nomination. “’It’s exhausting,’ Gloria says. ‘You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money, because that’s crass,’” quotes BBC. “Did Gerwig simply make too much money? Maybe. Be a woman director, but don’t show up the men by making more than they do. That could easily have been part of Gloria’s speech.” 

Many people believe the real reason Barbie was generally ignored in nominations was because it “wasn’t serious enough.” “Commercial success doesn’t necessarily translate into Oscar nominations and Barbie is the kind of movie often snubbed as not ‘serious’ enough for the Oscars,” Lisa Coulthard, a cinema and media studies professor at the University of British Columbia, tells CBC News. “But the way ‘serious’ is determined is highly gendered and this, I think, is a major example of that.” 

The theory of Barbie not being taken seriously has been proven over and over by viewers’ comments, and most recently, a joke made by 2024 Golden Globes host Jo Koy. “Oppenheimer is based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies,” he tried to joke. “The key moment in Barbie is when she goes from perfect beauty to bad breath, cellulite, and flat feet. Or what casting directors call character actor!” 

Barbie’s plot has undoubtedly gone over millions of heads, including, apparently, the Oscars. “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,” writes another X user. 

Many believed that Gerwig and Robbie’s nominations weren’t even a question, but clearly there was a large misunderstanding. “As history has proved time and again, assuming a woman is going to be a shoo-in for anything (even the actress category) is never a good idea because to succeed, women have to defy all manner of expectations while also meeting every one,” said the Los Angeles Times.  

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Print

Your donation will support the student journalists of Fallston High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emma Callahan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Emma Callahan is a senior and is one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief of The Print. Additionally, she is the President of GSA, Girl Up, and Creative Writing Club; is an officer of Voices of Equity; and a member of Academic Team and Spanish club. She runs on the cross-country team and loves reading and travelling. Emma hopes to major in Journalism or Law and minor in Women's and Gender Studies and Spanish to hopefully one day spread news about or directly fight social injustices and issues involving human rights. 
Donate to The Print

Comments (0)

All The Print Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *