Who would have thought that the two most anticipated movies of the year would be so diametrically opposed? As we inch closer to the release of Barbieand Oppenheimer, both movies have dominated the online discourse, with fans from both sides agreeing to watch both films as soon as they hit theatres, and no one is more excited than the Barbie stars in the movie.
While the next Christopher Nolan cinematic spectacle has received rave reviews for its commitment to style and infinite meme potential, Barbie has been perhaps an even more fascinating movie all around – mainly because we still don’t know exactly how the plot will play out. Sure, we know J. Robert Oppenheimer eventually creates the atomic bomb – but what does Barbie do?
Recently, the movie found itself in hot water in Vietnam, allegedly because the movie features a scene that shows a map of the South China Sea. Following the banning of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in the United Arab Emirates, 2023 seems to be a risky year for controversial scenes in high-profile movies.
One celebrity that doesn’t believe that this approach has any downsides is Alexandra Shipp. The actress recently confided that she would be “Excited” if Barbie “offends men.” According to her, some parts of the movie could make the more conservative male audience uncomfortable, predominantly because of the movie’s portrayal of the “Ken” lifestyle.
In Shipp’s words, “A lot of the things that the Kens do that might make them upset are things that they actually do.” The idea, according to her, was for the movie to be a mirror image of modern society, seen through the absurdist lens of a Barbie-like society.
The actress reveals in the same interview that Barbie and Ken share a “Quintessential […] hetero dynamic.” However, she also mentions that there are plenty of underlying queer subtexts scattered throughout Barbie.
Shipp’s interview might be something of a double-edged sword for some Barbie fans. After all, no one would like to get into a film knowing that some of the actors hope the material can “offend” a certain group – that’s just how discrimination works, regardless of your position.
With movies like the 2019 Charlie’s Angels and the Ghostbusters reboot still fresh in the memory of many fans, it’s a bit strange to see this approach to marketing still making the rounds for recent films.
All that said, it’s worth acknowledging that these remarks were made by Alexandra Shipp in an interview for Interview Magazine and reflect only her take on the film. They’re not indicative of what director Greta Gerwig had in mind when she wrote the film, or what Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, or anyone else on the cast of Barbie hopes to achieve with the film.
Still, Shipp’s remarks might invoke some backlash from fans, as this sort of inflammatory comment is just the type that online commentators love to “discuss.” Shipp will play one of the many Barbies in the film, which include actresses like Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, Emma Mackey, and even Dua Lipa.