‘There’s no Ken without Barbie,’ Ryan Gosling states after Oscars snubs

Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie at Barbie premiere

When Oscar nominations dropped Tuesday morning, the list contained some history-making highs — Lily Gladstone’s Best Actress nomination — and some particularly puzzling lows, most notably “Barbie’s” big snubs.

The blockbuster hit certainly wasn’t shut out; “Barbie” did secure nominations for best picture, best adapted screenplay, best original song (two, actually: “I’m Just Ken” and “What Was I Made For” both received nominations), costume design and production design. The movie also garnered two actor nominations: America Ferrera for best supporting actress and Ryan Gosling for best supporting actor.

But Margot Robbie, the film’s titular lead, didn’t receive a best actress nomination and, even more surprisingly, director Greta Gerwig was left out of the best director category.

MORE: Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ becomes the highest-earning film of 2023

About this, “Barbie’s” Ken, a scene-stealing Ryan Gosling, has some thoughts. Gosling released a statement following the Oscar nominations expressing his disappointment over Gerwig’s and Robbie’s apparent snubs. Read the full statement, which was released to media and reported by Time, CNN, ABC News, The Hollywood Reporter and more:

“I am extremely honored to be nominated by my colleagues alongside such remarkable artists in a year of so many great films. And I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m also incredibly honored and proud that it’s for portraying a plastic doll named Ken.

But 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.

No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.

To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.

Against all odds with nothing but a couple of soulless, scantily clad, and thankfully crotchless dolls, they made us laugh, they broke our hearts, they pushed the culture and they made history. Their work should be recognized along with the other very deserving nominees.

Having said that, I am so happy for America Ferrera and the other incredible artists who contributed their talents to making this such a groundbreaking film.”

Ferrera, too, had something to say about her castmate’s and director’s snubbing, telling Variety she was incredibly disappointed that they weren’t nominated.

America Ferrera, left, and Ryan Gosling pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Barbie' on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, in London. (Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)

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“Greta has done just about everything that a director could do to deserve it. 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,” Ferrera said. About Robbie, she told Variety: “Perhaps people got fooled 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. She brings so much heart and humor and depth and joy and fun to the character. In my book, she’s a master.”

The internet has been abuzz since the Oscars news dropped, with many realizing — and pointing out — the incredible irony of nominating Ken for a movie about Barbie.

“Oscar nomination goes to … Ken,” wrote author and speaker Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) on Twitter/X:

Twitter/X user Iya (@hotmessjunk) illustrated the feeling with a clip from the movie:

It’s not just women taking to social media to lament the snubs. Twitter/X user Michael (@yosoymichael) states it plainly, calling the snubs “honestly so fitting.”

Twitter/X user Adam (@adamgreattweet) even repurposed best supporting actress nominee America Ferrera’s momentous “Barbie” monologue to point out the irony:

While the exclusions are disappointing, there are some other bright spots to focus on at this year’s awards: “Barbie” is one of three best picture nominees this year directed by women, alongside Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” and Celine Song’s “Past Lives.” It’s also a good year for diverse nominations in the acting categories, including Ferrera as well as Danielle Brooks, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Lily Gladstone to name a few.

MORE: Ryan Gosling sent Greta Gerwig a flash mob of Kens and Barbies

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About the Author
Taylor Kuether
Taylor Kuether is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years’ experience writing and editing content, designing and implementing digital strategy, leading teams and executing production. She's written for The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times and more. Visit Scripps News to see more of Taylor's work.

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