‘Barbie’ Co-Writer Noah Baumbach Thought ‘Men Could Take’ the Film’s Patriarchy Jokes. Then ‘Anti-Man’ Backlash Started: ‘I Mean, Come On!’

“Barbie” screenwriters Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach joined one another for a “60 Minutes” interview in which they were asked about the surprising “anti-man” backlash to their blockbuster comedy. Several conservative figures blasted “Barbie” after it opened in theaters over the summer for its patriarchy jokes, which they perceived as being anti-man. Bill Maher even went on record calling the film “man-hating.”

“The movie is meant to be a big-hearted thing, even though it’s poking fun at everyone,” Gerwig said when such accusations were brought up in the interview. “I planned this in my head. I’ll just say it. This is not man-hating anymore than Aristophanes’ ‘Lysistrata’ was man-hating. That doesn’t sound like a sick burn when you say it out loud like that. That will teach them!”

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“Lysistrata” is an ancient Greek comedy about a woman who tries to end the Peloponnesian War by starting a campaign to deny sex to all the men of the land. While Gerwig evoked the classics when confronting the “Barbie” backlash, Baumbach was more direct.

“I felt men could take it,” Baumbah said while discussing the patriarchy jokes in “Barbie” that ended up hurting some men’s feelings. “I mean, come on!”

“This sounds so silly to say out loud but I love Ken. We love Ken,” Gerwig added. “We also take Ken’s position quite seriously. He has no identity outside of her.”

“Barbie” ruffled the feathers of many conservative figures with its patriarchy jokes. Podcaster Matt Walsh condemned the movie as “the most aggressively anti-man, feminist propaganda fest ever put to film,” while Ben Shapiro posted a viral video on social media in which he set Barbie dolls on fire with a barbecue lighter while railing against the movie.

Did Gerwig anticipate the degree to which her film would anger right-wingers? “No, I didn’t,” she told The New York Times over the summer. “Certainly, there’s a lot of passion. My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men. I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people.”

Amid the “anti-man” backlash against “Barbie,” some Hollywood figures like Marc Maron used social media to support the film. He called “Barbie” a “masterpiece” and said “the comedy about men is inspired” in the movie, adding: “The fact that certain men took offense to the point where they, you know, tried to build a grift around it in terms of their narrative is right wing [explicative]. It’s so embarrassing for them. I mean, so embarrassing for them. Any dude that can’t take those hits in that movie, they’ve really got to look in their pants and decide what they’re made of. I mean, Jesus Christ, what a bunch of fucking insecure babies.”

“It’s a movie!” Whoopi Goldberg exclaimed on “The View” when firing back at conservative backlash. “It’s a movie about a doll! I thought y’all would be happy. [Barbie] has no genitalia, so there’s no sex involved. Ken has no genitalia, so he can’t — it’s a doll movie! And the kids know it’s colorful and it’s Barbie.”

“You guys, I want y’all to tell your daughters why you’re not taking them to the ‘Barbie’ movie,” Goldberg added. “I want you to explain to them what’s wrong with Barbie…It’s a doll movie, guys. I’m shocked that that’s what’s freaking you out these days.”

“Barbie” is now available to rent or purchase on VOD and digital platforms. The movie begins streaming exclusively on Max starting Dec. 15.

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