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Snub Sensation: Barbie

James Gourley/Getty Images

 Barbie, the 2023 summer sensation, explores the bright and bubbly world of Barbie Land portrayed through everyone’s favorite dolls. Earning an outstanding 1.446 billion dollars at the box office, Barbie swiftly earned the title of one of the biggest films of 2023. However, The Academy did not acknowledge the incredible directing or powerful performance by a lead actor needed to make such an emotionally and cinematically complex film. 

Oscar nominations were released on Jan. 23, and the internet was shocked to find out that Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were not included in their respective categories of Best Leading Actress and Best Director. This snub inspired many to voice their outrage on X and other social media platforms, proclaiming this situation to be one of the biggest snubs in cinematic history. Some fans even tried to take it out on Ken, portrayed by Ryan Gosling as he received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Junior student Raya Weinstock was among these angry fans, proclaiming the unfairness of his nomination: “Ryan Gosling got a nomination, while Margot Robbie did not; that’s what the whole movie is about!” 

In response to the controversy, Gosling spoke out, “There is no Barbie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for a history-making, globally celebrated film. No recognition would be possible for anyone in the film without their talent, grit, and genius.”

Furthermore, the snub of 40-year-old director Greta Gerwig left many confused as she is the first filmmaker in history to have her first three solo features – “Little Women,” “Lady Bird,” and now “Barbie”– nominated for Best Picture. Weinstock agrees with most Barbie enthusiasts, stating, “I don’t understand why she wasn’t nominated; there was so much publicity surrounding the movie, and it was honestly shocking finding out.” These snubs led many to believe this was due to the sexism in the Academy. For many years, Oscar voters have been accused of favoring male-run films; however, the director of Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, keeps those accusations of snubs more palatable. Still, a struggle continues for female-led films, especially in the Comedy category, to achieve success in the Best Director category.

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