'Barbie' is a movie about women, but its Oscar nods are about the men

  • The 2024 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday.

  • "Barbie" earned eight nods, but they were largely skewed in favor of its male actors and writers.

  • Ryan Gosling received a best supporting actor nomination, but Margot Robbie was snubbed.

It may be Barbie's world, but when it comes to the Academy Awards, it's clear that the men are still in charge.

When the 2024 Academy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday "Barbie" emerged as a voter favorite with eight nominations, but both director Greta Gerwig and actor Margot Robbie were snubbed in their respective categories.

While America Ferrera received a nod for best supporting actress, the film's other nominations were largely skewed in favor of the movie's male contributors — a conspicuous disparity for a film about the female experience.

Ryan Gosling nabbed a nomination for best supporting actor as Ken, the heroine's sidekick who becomes obsessed with the power of patriarchy.

As one X user noted, "Margot Robbie not getting nominated for 'Barbie' but Ryan Gosling getting nominated for Ken feels like what would have happened if the Barbies never dismantled the patriarchy at the end of the movie."

The point was not lost on Ferrera who told Variety in an interview on Tuesday that she was "incredibly disappointed" her colleagues hadn't received nominations.

"Greta has done just about everything that a director could do to deserve it," she told the outlet. "Creating this world, and taking something that didn't have inherent value to most people and making it a global phenomenon. It feels disappointing to not see her on that list."

She went on to say that Robbie's performance may have fooled people "into thinking that the work seems easy, but Margot is a magician as an actress in front of the screen, and it was one of the honors of my career to get to witness her pull off the amazing performance she did."

Gosling also released a statement noting that "there is no Ken without Barbie and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film."

While both Gerwig and Robbie were overlooked, the Academy did give the billion-dollar box office smash a best picture nod.

This might feel like déjà vu for Gerwig, who was similarly snubbed for her direction of best picture nominee "Little Women" in 2020, despite the film being nominated for best picture, best adapted screenplay, best actress, best supporting actress, best original score, and best costume design.

Only eight female directors have been nominated in Oscars history, including one this year: Justine Triet for "Anatomy of a Fall." (Gerwig was nominated for "Lady Bird" in 2018 but lost to Guillermo del Toro.)

Ryan Gosling Greta Gerwig Margot Robbie
Ryan Gosling, Greta Gerwig, and Margot Robbie attend a photocall for "Barbie."Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

"Barbie" will also compete for best adapted screenplay — an award, if won, that Gerwig would share with her husband Noah Baumbach, who's been open about his initial disdain for the movie pitch. "I thought it was a terrible idea, and Greta signed me up for it," he said during a Q&A in October.

And then there's the music. The "Barbie" soundtrack featured new tracks from Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, and Lizzo, but it was Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" that got the nod for best original song. The power ballad, an '80s-style power ballad that satirizes Ken's struggles and his "life of blond fragility," is going up against Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell's heartwrenching ballad "What Was I Made For?" (described by Gerwig as "Barbie's heart song").

Gosling performs the song in the movie, but the award would go to Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt as cowriters and producers if won. (Had "Dance the Night" been nominated, Lipa still would've shared the honor with Ronson and Wyatt.)

Last week, "I'm Just Ken" won best song at the Critics Choice Awards, beating "What Was I Made For?" — quite fittingly, Gosling's befuddled reaction went viral.

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