This is a Ken's world but it ain't nothin' without a Barbie girl.
After all, women have a century of being maligned on film at their back so what harm could one little, billion-dollar, paradigm-shifting movie do?
In an interview with 60 Minutes, Baumbach and his life/creative partner Greta Gerwig discuss the Barb phenom and the bro backlash. "I felt men could take it," Baumbah says when asked about these hurt man-feelings. "I mean, come on."
Though Barbie was the rare film to attract critical and commercial success, it also attracted its share of detractors who thought it was "anti-man."
Bill Maher, for one, was not going to come on. The sometime political pundit and always ornery complainer criticized the movie for being "preachy," "man-hating," and divorced from reality. Because a world in which women walk permanently in tip-toe is really pushing for verisimilitude.
For her part, director and co-writer Greta Gerwig didn't think Barbie was any more "man-hating" than Aristophanes's Lysistrata — a burn she realized wasn't as sick when said out loud.
Still, she admits, "The movie is meant to be a big-hearted thing, even though it's poking fun at everyone." She also notes that the movie very much sympathizes with Ken because "he has no identity outside of her."
Besides, how man-hating can a movie be when Ken ends up being one of the biggest and most beloved parts? Classic men.
This "debate" over Barbie's alleged misandry is nothing new, and Gerwig previously addressed it in The New York Times, saying, "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."
Marc Maron was a bit more blunt.
"The fact that certain men took offense, is so embarrassing for them," the comedian and podcast host said in a TikTok. "Any dude who can't take those hits in that movie, they've really gotta look in their pants and decide what they're made of. I mean, Jesus Christ, what a bunch of f---ing insecure babies."
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.