Greta Gerwig Reacts To Jo Koy’s Widely Panned ‘Barbie’ Joke

The director’s reaction was perhaps not what you’d expect.

Comedian Jo Koy’s “Barbie” joke might have flopped at the Golden Globes, but the film’s director, Greta Gerwig, is taking the high road.

During his unpopular opening monologue, Koy compared the blockbuster to its box office rival, “Oppenheimer,” describing the latter as being based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book and “Barbie” as a movie about “a plastic doll with big boobies.” Many viewers criticized the joke as sexist and reductive.

In an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, Gerwig weighed in.

“Well, he’s not wrong,” she said. “She’s the first doll that was mass-produced with breasts, so he was right on. And you know, I think that so much of the project of the movie was unlikely because it is about a plastic doll. Barbie by her very construction has no character, no story, she’s there to be projected upon.”

Gerwig continued, explaining that Ruth Handler, the creator of the Barbie doll, realized when she was watching her daughter play with baby dolls that “my daughter doesn’t want to pretend to be a mother. She wants to pretend to be a grown woman.”

Following overwhelmingly negative reviews about his monologue, Koy said the morning after the Globes, “It’s a tough room. It was a hard job.”

Jokes aside, “Barbie” was a box office juggernaut. It was the highest-grossing movie of the year worldwide in 2023 and the highest-grossing film ever from a female filmmaker.

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