It was hard for fans of last year’s blockbuster film “Barbie” to ignore the twist of fate on Tuesday when Greta Gerwig, the movie’s director, and Margot Robbie, its titular star, were shut out of the best director and best actress Oscar categories. It could have quite literally been a plot point in the movie, which serves as a lesson on the patriarchal structures that shape our institutions and our ways of thinking.
On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton joined the conversation by posting a message to Gerwig and Robbie on social media. “Greta & Margot, while it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you,” Clinton wrote. “You’re both so much more than Kenough,” she added, referencing a phrase that shows up on Ken’s sweatshirt in the film.
Perhaps the message couldn’t have come from a more appropriate public figure than Clinton, a former secretary of state who, of course, lost the presidential election in 2016 to Donald Trump despite winning the popular vote.
She was just one of many to share their dismay about Gerwig and Robbie being snubbed while the film itself earned eight nominations — including for best picture; for best supporting actor, for Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken; and for best supporting actress, for America Ferrera.
On Tuesday, after the nominations were read, Gosling issued a lengthy statement expressing his disappointment: “No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius,” he wrote. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ferrera called their work “phenomenal” and said that they both “deserve to be acknowledged for the history they made, for the ground they broke, for the beautiful artistry.”
Billie Jean King, the tennis champion who won equal pay for women at the 1973 U.S. Open, posted on Wednesday that she was “really upset about #Barbie being snubbed, especially in the Best Director category.”
“The movie is absolutely brilliant,” King wrote, “and Greta Gerwig is a genius.”