The year’s biggest film, ‘Barbie,’ has generated massive controversy despite its $155 million box office debut. Notably, Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire owner, is among those critics expressing disapproval of the film’s portrayal of the “patriarchy.”
Musk, known for his candid remarks and often conservative-leaning viewpoints, suggested the film’s repeated use of the term “patriarchy” was excessive. “If you take a shot every time Barbie says the word “patriarchy,” you will pass out before the movie ends,” he quipped on Twitter.
Elon Musk criticizes film’s ‘anti-man’ agenda
Musk’s criticism aligns with a broader backlash predominantly from conservative figures, who accuse the film of an ‘anti-man’ agenda.
Lauren Chen, a conservative commentator, referred to the film’s “insidious man-hating message,” condemning the studios for masking how “INSUFFERABLY WOKE” it would be.
Gaetz advocates boycott over film’s disregard for ‘faith, family’
The wife of Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, Ginger Gaetz, advocated a boycott due to what she perceived as a misplaced focus on ‘feminine empowerment’ and a disregard for ‘faith and family.’
Mrs. Gaetz expressed disappointment with the film, critiquing its portrayal of gender relationships and the absence of traditional values.
Gaetz calls out 2023 Barbie movie, applauds Margot Robbie
She wrote on Twitter, “The Barbie I grew up with was a representation of limitless possibilities, embracing diverse careers and feminine empowerment.”
“The 2023 Barbie movie, unfortunately, neglects to address any notion of faith or family and tries to normalize the idea that men and women can’t collaborate positively (yuck).”
Despite her criticism, she commended Margot Robbie’s acting and the film’s aesthetic elements.
Shapiro burns Barbie dolls in symbolic protest against #BarbieTheMovie
Another conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro, expressed his disdain more vehemently, sharing a YouTube video in which he criticizes the film for over 40 minutes and symbolically sets Barbie dolls on fire.
Echoing Musk, he commented, “All you need to know about #BarbieTheMovie is that it unironically uses the word ‘patriarchy’ more than ten times.”
Film ban sparks controversy over alleged CCP propaganda in Hollywood
Further controversy emerged when the film was banned in Vietnam due to a dispute with China. A crayon map in the movie depicted the ‘nine-dash line,’ a territorial claim over much of the South China Sea by Chinese authorities.
This stirred Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Mike Gallagher, who accused Hollywood of promoting Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
Divided reactions highlight film’s impact beyond entertainment
Despite the backlash, the film has also received significant praise from critics and audiences, pointing to the divide in perspectives on its themes and execution.
The film continues to generate fervent dialogue about gender politics and international relations alike, underscoring the impact of cinematic storytelling beyond pure entertainment.
Media scholar weighs in on ongoing debate over ‘Barbie’ film’s ideals
Adding to the contentious debate around the film, academic and media scholar Dr. Vivienne Morris at Harvard University weighed in.
In her recent article in the New York Times, she argued, “The backlash against ‘Barbie’ demonstrates the ongoing tension between traditional and progressive ideals in contemporary media.”
“While some view the film’s themes as a much-needed critique of entrenched patriarchy, others see them as an attack on men and traditional values,” she concluded.