Despite raking in more than $1 billion at the box office and becoming the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman, Barbie suffered two blows during this week’s Oscar nomination announcements. The Academy withheld nominations from both Greta Gerwig for Directing and Margot Robbie for Best Actress. While the Oscars did acknowledge America Ferrera and Ryan Gosling’s Barbie acting chops (and the film was nominated for eight awards overall), the irony of a film about sexism falling victim to sexism feels almost too on-the-nose.
On Tuesday night, Gosling, who was nominated for his melodramatic portrayal of Ken, released a statement decrying the Academy’s omission of the two women who made the Barbie film possible in the first place.
“… 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,” Gosling’s statement read. “No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit, and genius. To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”
Soon after, Ferrera shared Gosling’s statement to her Instagram Story, writing, “Oh Ryan. Just so well said.” She also told Variety that “Greta has done just about everything that a director could do to deserve it. Creating this world, and taking something that didn’t have inherent value to most people and making it a global phenomenon. It feels disappointing to not see her on that list.”
Fans of the movie, which apparently includes Hillary Clinton, also shared their disappointment over Gerwig and Robbie not being nominated. Clinton wrote on X: “Greta & Margot, While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you. You’re both so much more than Kenough.” Signed, #HillaryBarbie.
Prior to Tuesday’s nominations, Gerwig had already been nominated for a Directors Guild Award by her peers, which is typically a good indicator that an Oscar nomination might be on its way. But Justine Triet, director of Anatomy of a Fall, wound up the only female director nominated in the category this year, never mind that three of the Best Picture nominees were directed by women. Given themes of Gerwig’s Barbie screenplay, which she co-wrote with husband and longtime collaborator Noah Baumbach, I wouldn’t be surprised if this snub was part of Gerwig’s master plan. Anyway, thank you, Ryan Gosling, for stepping up as a feminist ally; you will always be more than Kenough.
This post has been updated.