It was pretty much a given that the 2024 Oscar nominations were going to stir up some conversations amongst cinephiles. After all, just about every year, movie lovers dissect the nods when they arrive. However, I’m not sure anyone could have foreseen the discourse surrounding Barbie’s Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig not being nominated for Best Actress and Best Director, respectively. A considerable number of people – from general fans to major celebrities – have taken issue with them being omitted from the categories and have spoken out. Now, an Academy Awards expert has entered the chat, and they didn’t hold back when discussing this turn of events.
During the course of this awards season, the box office behemoth that is Barbie has received a considerable amount of accolades. The Academy even awarded it eight nominations, including one for Best Picture. That’s arguably one of the reasons why so many are wondering what’s up with Greta Gerwig not getting a directing nom and Robbie not getting one for acting. Author and Turner Classic Movies host Dave Karger has seen and analyzed his fair share of nominations over the years. And when it comes to Gerwig’s fantasy flick, he believes these two snubs will not soon be forgotten:
It's definitely not a good look that the Academy members left out Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie for directing and starring in a movie that's largely about how impressive women are often marginalized. … Even though they both received nominations for their work on Barbie in other categories, these two high-profile omissions will be remembered — and they will sting — for a long time.
When talking all of this out, it should definitely be mentioned that the two stars are indeed nominated for Oscars this year due to their work on Barbie. The Lady Bird filmmaker scored a Best Adapted Screenplay nod, while her collaborator is nominated for Best Picture as a producer on the film. Still, as Dave Karger explained to People, “it’s definitely not a good look” that neither were added to the other major categories. Krager went on to share with the trade what he thinks might’ve factored in to the Academy’s decisions:
I do think that the Academy membership has a bit of a bias, unconscious or otherwise, against true comedies and towards heavier dramas. Greta and Margot surely made it on to thousands of ballots, but since those ballots are weighted towards voters’ No. 1 and No. 2 favorites, we can assume they simply didn’t earn enough of those top-tier votes.
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These perceived snubs led fellow Barbie cast members Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera to speak out in support of their colleagues. Gosling expressed gratitude for his Best Supporting Actor nod, though he also praised the work of his director and castmate. Best Supporting Actress nominee Ferrera similarly lauded her collaborators for what they were able to achieve and bring to the movie. Even the woman who inspired the eponymous doll shared thoughts, saying that there’s “something wrong” about the filmmaker and leading lady not getting noms.
Even though it’s been several days since this controversy all began, it would appear that the discussions amongst movie pundits and fans are still being had. It is honestly surprising that Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie weren’t nominated in those two specific categories, considering the work they put in and the praise they’ve received. Then again, it’s fair to say that no one is ever guaranteed an Academy Award nomination or win, regardless of the aforementioned factors.
Barbie is currently available to stream using a Max subscription.