Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, recently took a jab at the hit movie “Barbie” on Twitter, adding fuel to the conservative backlash against the film. Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie, “Barbie” has been a box office success, breaking records with its massive opening weekend earnings of $162 million domestically. However, the film has also faced criticism from conservative ideologues who accuse it of promoting left-wing propaganda.
In response to a Barbenheimer meme comparing Twitter to Barbie and Musk’s new X name for his social network to Oppenheimer, the billionaire tweeted, “If you take a shot every time Barbie says the word ‘Patriarchy,’ you will pass out before the movie ends.”
Elon Musk is not the only one to criticize “Barbie” for its alleged political undertones. Conservative commentators like Ben Shapiro and Piers Morgan have also voiced their disapproval of the film’s supposed feminist message. Shapiro went viral on YouTube with a 43-minute video bashing the movie, predicting its downfall at the box office and even setting fire to Barbie dolls in protest. Piers Morgan expressed his disdain for what he perceived as a film mocking men and promoting feminist ideals. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also jumped into the controversy, accusing the film of appeasing the Chinese communist party by featuring the controversial “nine-dash line” on a map, favoring China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. However, he admitted that he had not actually seen the movie.
Despite the conservative criticism, “Barbie” has received positive reviews from both critics and audiences. It boasts a 90 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a rare achievement for a non-superhero film or a franchise extension. The film’s success also extends beyond the domestic market, with a strong performance in international box offices.
Leading up to its release, the creative team and cast of “Barbie” emphasized their vision for the film as a feminist and inclusive take on the iconic doll brand. Margot Robbie’s portrayal of “Stereotypical Barbie” and Ryan Gosling‘s Ken embarks on a journey from Barbieland to the real world, exploring themes of identity and existential crisis.
The film’s positive reception has also been attributed to its diverse representation. Issa Rae, who plays President Barbie, praised the movie’s portrayal of a world where the singular ideal of perfection is questioned. She expressed relief that “Barbie Land” in the movie wasn’t solely filled with white Barbies, ensuring a more inclusive message.
“Barbie” has emerged as a box office hit despite facing conservative criticism. The film’s positive reviews and audience reception demonstrate its appeal as a feminist and inclusive take on the iconic doll. While some voices have accused it of left-wing propaganda, the majority of viewers have embraced the movie’s messages of identity and diversity, making “Barbie” a successful and well-received cinematic venture.