Right-wing media accuses Barbie of ‘forgetting core audience’ by ‘pushing’ LGBTQ+ stories

Right-wing outlets and social media haters slam 'woke' Barbie.

Ahead of the release of Greta Gerwig’s summer blockbuster Barbie, some right-wing publications are calling for a boycott over the film’s inclusive LGBTQ+ themes.

Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is set to make cinematic history this summer as it brings the decades-old adored Mattel doll to life in a story about her journey into the real world to discover her true purpose.

The film, which features a star-studded cast playing Barbie and Ken dolls, including LGBTQ+ favourites Hari Nef, Scott Evans and Alexandra Shipp, and has a stunning soundtrack – most noticeably an Aqua “Barbie Girl” remix from Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, along with songs from Charli XCX and Sam Smith.

So, maybe not surprisingly – just as they came for Build-A-Bear and Barney – a number of right-wing pundits are using Barbie to stoke a completely unnecessary “moral” panic.

A scathing review published on the Christian site Movieguide on 10 July accused the “badly made” Barbie movie of “forgetting it core audiences… catering to nostalgic adults [and] pushing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender character stories”.

Hari Nef stars as Doctor Barbie. (Warner Bros.)

The unnamed reviewer claimed that the film had forgotten its “built-in audience of little girls” and criticised Mattel for only serving “a small percentage of the population”.

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Urging parents not to take their daughters to see the film, the review says: “Families need to know how bad this is. Not only is it a missed business opportunity for a beloved brand, the movie itself is badly made”.

The review was reposted by Fox News. The right-wing news outlet cited a recent Out magazine interview with trans actress Nef, who plays Doctor Barbie, as a further reason to avoid the film.

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During the interview, Nef said: “As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl in this [movie], I think there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life and being in your body your way, on your own terms.”

Naturally, there’s nothing worse than empowering young girls to love their bodies.

Elsewhere, Ken star Simu Liu spoke to Screen Rant about how the film “puts that final nail in the coffin of this very heteronormative idea of what gender is and what is or is not gendered”.

Now, bigots on social media are calling on fans to boycott the film.

“I am so disappointed. I really was hoping that this was going to be a super fun, silly movie that I could go into the theatre to watch and not have wokeness thrown down my throat,” complained one person.

Another wrote: “It’s so sad that young girls cannot go and enjoy a Barbie movie without the wokeness of Hollywood ruining it.”

Despite the outrage, producer and lead star Robbie confirmed in an interview with Extra that the film was “for everyone” when asked if it catered for children.

“It was literally crafted to be for everyone,” Robbie said. “There is a big party, and everyone is invited. There are some pretty profound conversations happening at the same time. And everyone dances in it.”

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Happily, many social media users are hitting back against the hatred.

“The conservatives are crying because a Barbie movie is standing by its own message of being unashamedly your own self, no matter who you are,” one fan pointed out.

Although Barbie is undeniably camp and has a devoted LGBTQ+ fan base, Robbie has since told Attitude magazine that there are no actual queer dolls in the film.

“They don’t have actually have sexual orientations because they don’t have any reproductive organs, we figured,” she explained.

However, Barbie Land is “incredibly inclusive”, she added.

“We wanted this film to feel like everyone was welcome. So, it was so important that every person coming aboard the party would be able to represent someone else who could be watching this movie.”

Barbie is released in cinemas on Friday (21 July).

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