‘Barbie’ Director Greta Gerwig Reacts to Conservatives Bashing Her Film as “Woke”

Only those living under a rock have yet to hear about Barbie‘s bombshell success at the box office last weekend. The film marked the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman, EVER, and many are singing Greta Gerwig‘s praises. However, there has been a bit of backlash from conservative pundits and trolls who feed the outrage economy.

One particularly alarming reaction came from none other than conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, who set two Barbie dolls on fire (“in the most Oppenheimer fashion,” according to Shapiro himself) in a 43-minute-long review-turned-rant, that has received plenty of critiques from the film’s fans and the panel of The View on yesterday’s (July 25) episode.

Others that have made a stink about the film’s “wokeness” included Senator Ted Cruz deeming it as “Chinese communist propaganda,” per CNN, as well as conservative activist Charlie Kirk and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz‘s wife Ginger Gaetz, according to HuffPost.

Gerwig spoke to The New York Times following the movie’s release. When asked if she “anticipate[d] the degree to which right-wing pundits are bashing the movie as being ‘woke’ and burning their Barbies,” she simply replied, “No, I didn’t.”

“Certainly, there’s a lot of passion,” she continued. “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.”

From left to right: America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Margot Robbie, Issa Rae, Ryan Gosling and Greta Gerwig attend a photocall for "Barbie" at the London EyePhoto: Getty Images

Fans have come to Gerwig’s aid, clapping back at the conservative criticisms. Shapiro posted a tweet where he alleged that his “producers dragged him to see Barbie,” which promptly received roasts including, “What bothers you most? That her legs are taller than you are or that Ken was more manly?,” and one Twitter user screenshotting its extremely “fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating of 90% and captioning it, “Majority of the viewing population > Ben.”

Nonetheless, Gerwig’s perfectly poised (and likely pink) response has been to bask in the tremendous success of the film, which earned $162 million in its opening weekend. She told NYT that she is “amazed,” “grateful,” and “at a loss for words.”

“But, honestly, it’s been amazing to walk around and see people in pink,” she gushed. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine something like this.”

Barbie is currently in theaters.

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