'Not like they gave her slot to Vin Diesel': Bill Maher shares take on ‘Barbie’ Oscars controversy

'Is this really the patriarchy?' Bill Maher shares take on ‘Barbie’ Oscars controversy on ‘Real Time’
Bill Maher raised questions about the perceived significance of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's Oscars snubs, referring to it as a 'giant controversy' (@RealTime/YouTube)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Bill Maher opened the second episode of 'Real Time' in the new year by seizing the opportunity to express his opinions on the controversy surrounding the 'Barbie' Oscars nominations.

Welcomed by applause from the audience as he stepped onto the stage, the host remarked, "You can always sense the excitement at this time of year when you’re in LA because it’s Oscars week or something....This is a big part of the town, industry and everything. So we get very excited."

'The Academy Awards are a reflection of our society, so it's no surprise that they're considering some new categories this year'.
read the title of Bill Maher recent episode (@RealTime/Youtube)
Bill Maher kicked off the episode by sharing his thoughts on the 'Barbie' Oscars nominations controversy (@RealTime/YouTube)

Bill Maher mocks 'Barbie' Oscars controversy

Maher went on to highlight that the 2024 Oscar nominations were unveiled on January 23, revealing that 'Barbie' had secured eight nominations, including a nod for best picture.

However, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig faced disappointment as they missed out on the best leading actress and best director categories, respectively.

In a characteristic satirical tone, Maher quipped, "The matter has been handed over to the International Criminal Court and is being investigated for a war," injecting humor into the perceived seriousness surrounding the 'Barbie' Oscars nominations controversy.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie attend the
Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie attend the 'Barbie' Celebration Party at Museum of Contemporary Art on June 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia (Getty Images)

In recent days, 'Barbie' enthusiasts and notable Hollywood figures, such as Ryan Gosling and Michelle Yeoh, have voiced their disappointment with the Academy's voting decisions, particularly in the omission of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie from the best director and best leading actress categories, respectively.

This sentiment was heightened by the irony that Gosling, portraying Ken in the film, received a nomination for best supporting actor. 

'Barbie' controversy and backlash

In an unexpected turn, the initial backlash against the 'Barbie' Oscars nominations faced its own backlash, with individuals like Whoopi Goldberg arguing that Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie weren't necessarily snubbed by the Academy.

On 'The View' earlier this week, Goldberg stated, "There are no snubs, and that’s what you have to keep in mind: Not everybody gets a prize."

"I don’t know why this is such a giant controversy now," Maher expressed. "I mean, best actress. That’s the category, you know, she [Robbie] lost to other actresses. It’s not like they gave her slot to Vin Diesel. Is this really the patriarchy?"

Maher questioned the intensity of the backlash, emphasizing that the competition in the best actress category involves comparisons among actresses and not an imposition of gender bias.

Bill Maher probes 'Barbie' Oscars snubs for insights on patriarchy

Later in the episode, Maher posed the question to guests Rep Adam Schiff and Seth MacFarlane, inquiring whether they believed the 'Barbie' snubs indicated that America is a patriarchy or not.

"I don’t think you can judge that from Barbie not getting nominated," responded Schiff.

Maher also took the opportunity to share his insights from the film, revealing that it explored the journey of Ken and Barbie as they came to similar realizations about patriarchy upon leaving Barbieland for the Real World. 

Seth MacFarlane speaks at the
Seth MacFarlane (Getty Images)

Maher shared a notable revelation about the film, stating, "I googled what the Mattel board really was. In the movie, it’s 12 men; in real life, it’s seven men and five women, so they were caught lying in their own movie."

Reflecting on a scene in the movie where the Barbies aim to win back the Kens by acting helpless, Maher recalled, "I remember I saw it [the movie] in the theater and I liked it, it’s entertaining, but at one point, the Barbies have to like, win back the Kens and they do it by acting helpless. And the woman I was with said, ‘I don’t know any woman today who would do that.'"  

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