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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: ‘Barbie’ Oscar nomination snubs were a huge mistake

Adam Marotta

Plenty of talented actors, actresses and filmmakers made it on the A-list of the Oscars nominations, but what really caught the eye of both critics and audiences —including me — was the “Barbie” snub.

While the Academy nominations are slowly moving toward a more inclusive and representative Hollywood, it still navigates the delicate balance between old-fashioned customs and the road to progress. 

“Barbie” broke records by making $1.7 billion at the box office, and was considered one of the main events of 2023. Still, despite being nominated for eight categories, the movie didn’t make the cut for Best Actress and Best Director, creating many controversies. 

Greta Gerwig, the movie’s director, not only created a pink universe in which girlhood was praised and women ruled the place they lived in but also highlighted one of many structural problems of our society: the inequity of genders. Gerwig showed us that the real “villain” wasn’t Ken, but the society itself. 

And the Academy made sure to confirm that. Ryan Gosling, who played Ken, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Yet, as Gosling stated: “There’s no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie.” 

Gerwig and Robbie are the leading ladies of “Barbie” and as harsh as this may sound, the Academy made a big mistake by recognizing the movie as Best Picture but not nominating Gerwig and Robbie in their respective categories where they deserved to be. 

On a positive note, America Ferrera’s nomination for Best Supporting Actress in “Barbie” is a significant win for representation at the Oscars, since she is one of the few Latin-American actresses to be nominated. 

In the movie, Ferrera portrayed Gloria, the human lens through which Robbie’s Barbie was viewed. Her flawless acting and extremely important monologue in the movie were a few shots of reality amid the pink fantasy. 

Ferrera’s presence among the nominees marks a step forward in acknowledging the talent and contributions of artists from various backgrounds.

Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas were also nominated for Best Original Song with “What Was I Made For?,” a heart-wrenching song that truly captures the essence of the movie and the pain and suffering of Barbie, Gloria and every woman trying to find a place to fit in society. 

In sum, I think the “Barbie” snub is extremely disappointing after our marvelous time in 2023 with the movie. As a girl who grew up with plenty of Barbie dolls, a supportive mother and exceptional women to look up to, I think “Barbie” should’ve been treated better. 

Why is a movie nominated for Best Picture but its director and leading actress are not even considered? This question is more difficult to answer than we think. Its nuances lie in our societal problems with gender equality and how the industry isn’t even taking baby steps to fix them. 

Once we find our answers, we must continue to battle against the old traditions and gender norms and aim for gender equality; something that the Academy made clear is not their forte. 

At the end of the day, Barbieland is not a place we can go to, but the complexities of womanhood and the fights for gender equality portrayed in the movie are very real. Gerwig, Robbie, Ferrera, Eilish and everyone involved in this movie proved that the road to women’s empowerment might begin with a simple question: “What Was I Made For?”

In this day and age, everything is great for the big executives —when it comes to making them look great. You can be a fantastic director, a good actress and have catchy pop songs, but apparently… you just can’t be the best.

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About the Contributor
Elise Coelho, Staff Writer | she/her
Elise is a sophomore from São Paulo, Brazil. She is majoring in philosophy with a minor in journalism. She loves to read, write, listen to music and take pictures. Her favorite band is Maneskin, and most of the time you can find her at a theater watching a musical. After graduation she plans to become an author and share her stories with the world.

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