“Barbie” director Greta Gerwig said Mattel was “incredibly open” to including the “counterargument” of women who found the dolls oppressive in the Warner Bros. Picture movie, noting that “it’s a lie any other way.”
“It felt like we had to give the counterargument to Barbie, and not give it short shrift, but give it real intellectual and emotional power,” Gerwig told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. “And Mattel was incredibly open to it. I said, “We have to explore it, because it’s a lie any other way. And we can’t make it a lie.” I think they heard it.”
Hitting theaters July 21, “Barbie” centers on the perfectly pink and picturesque Barbieland, where everyday is a party until one Barbie (Margot Robbie) has an existential crisis that prompts her to embark on a journey to the real world. Upon arriving in reality with Ken (Ryan Gosling) — who unknowingly snuck into her car — Barbie begins to meet women who provide this counterpoint by making the views about the dolls crystal clear.
While Gerwig’s iteration of “Barbie” is already being praised for its feminist messaging, the director noted that she sees the flick as “humanist” above all else.
“How Barbie operates in Barbieland is she’s entirely continuous with her environment,” Gerwig said.
In fact, beyond grappling with inequitable power structures that leave women marginalized, “Barbie” also asserts that “any kind of hierarchical power structure that moves in any direction isn’t so great,” according to Gerwig.