The premiere of the Barbie movie has been met with both excitement and controversy, showcasing the film's inclusive view of gender and its celebration of diverse representation.
The groundbreaking movie earned a staggering $155 million at the box office during its opening weekend, making it one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Critics praised it as "spontaneous and fun," and movie-goers, predominantly women, celebrated the occasion by dressing in all pink.
However, the film's success and positive reception by its target audience have not deterred some conservative commentators and politicians from voicing their strong objections.
A YouTube video was recently posted by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, in which he criticized a movie for causing division between men and women. He referred to the movie as "flaming garbage" and "woke." As a form of protest, he even lit a Barbie and Ken doll on fire.
Ginger Gaetz, the wife of Congressman Matt Gaetz, expressed disappointment with the movie, claiming that it neglects traditional family values and portrays Ken with "disappointingly low T," referring to testosterone. She argued that the movie promotes the idea that men and women cannot collaborate positively, an opinion that some other conservatives echoed.
Ted Cruz, a U.S. Senator, accused the movie of being a mouthpiece for Chinese communists due to a world map shown in the film. The map featured the controversial "nine-dash line," which China uses to claim vast areas of the South China Sea. Vietnam, in response, banned the movie, while Cruz insinuated that it was promoting Chinese propaganda.
Conservative radio talk show host Charlie Kirk took issue with the casting of Hari Nef, a transgender actor, in one of the Barbie roles. He labeled the movie as "trans propaganda" and criticized the trailer, calling it "disgusting."
Other right-wing commentators and politicians joined in the criticism, denouncing the film's inclusive view of gender and representation of LGBTQ+ actors.
Despite the backlash, the Barbie movie's positive messages about femininity, self-expression, and embracing diversity have resonated with many audiences. Transgender actress Hari Nef, who plays one of the Barbies, expressed that the film encourages people to live life on their own terms and be there for each other, regardless of gender identity.
While Fox News and conservative outlets attempted to stoke controversy with headlines like "Is Barbie Communist?" and warnings about the film being "woke," the majority of audiences seem undeterred. The #BoycottBarbie hashtag failed to gain significant traction, and the movie's projected box office earnings remained strong.
The Barbie movie premiere has been a mix of excitement and controversy. While the film's inclusive view of gender and diverse representation has garnered widespread acclaim, it has also faced backlash from some conservative commentators and politicians.
Although there have been efforts to create controversy around it, the movie has gained widespread popularity and positive feedback from its intended audience. This suggests that the movie's themes of self-expression and celebrating diversity have resonated with many viewers.
Barbie's adventure in discovering the world beyond her own and the array of lifestyles of the Barbies and Kens have struck a chord with audiences, making it one of the most highly anticipated and successful films of the year.