What Is The Reason Behind Barbie's Snub This Award Season; Greta Gerwig's Directorial's Commercial Success Didn't Make It A Oscar Guarantee

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's Barbie was undoubtedly the biggest movie of 2023, and yet this award season there are barely any accolades to show for it.

Updated on Mar 04, 2024  |  10:28 PM IST |  71.6K
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What does Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's snub at the Oscars tell us? (Getty Images)

Greta Gerig's Barbie took me for the ride of a lifetime when it came out in July last year with its immersive plastic pink world and heartwarming story of self-discovery. Though, that is not all it did. Margot Robbie's starrer became an instant magnet for an open dialogue about sexism and stereotypes among my friends and office colleagues. So it was no surprise to anyone when the film and its talented cast bagged nominations after nominations at this year's award cycle. However to my surprise, from the Golden Globes to the Academy Awards, there seems to be a continued snubbing of Barbie, and here's why I think it has more to do with a traditional outlook on films than you might think. Now before you read ahead please remember that this is just pure speculation on my part and not actual facts. 

Why Has Barbie Been Snubbed This Award Season?

Barbie (IMDb)

Trying to understand Barbie's snub calls for a look at the voters who are responsible for it. Today I'm looking at the Golden Globes committee and the Academy that picks and chooses the nominees and the winners. Barbie was nominated for 9 awards at this year's Golden Globes but surprisingly was outdone by Holdovers and Poor Things when it came to their category.

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However, the same can't be said for the Oscars, even though the award ceremony is yet to take place, the Academy has already made some waves, and not for good reason. The voters for the prestigious awards are made of experts and previous nominees; reportedly up to 10,000 industry professionals decide on the nominees and winners. Barbie earned a good 8 nominations to its name, but what stirred the pot was the fact that Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie have been left out for Best Director and Best Actress. 

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Now I'll admit, I was shocked and even a little annoyed. This led me to search for the criteria for each award show that dictates who is nominated. The Globes rely on 300-something entertainment journalists to make up decisions for the show. Gerwig's directorial won the first-ever Cinematic and Box Office Achievement, as well as the Best Original Song in a Motion Picture. So, I wouldn't exactly call it a total snub as far as the Globes are concerned. On the other hand, the 10K experts from the industry didn't as much as give Robbie and Gerwig a nomination, let alone hope for a win in their categories.


ALSO READ: People's Choice Awards 2024: Barbie Wins Big, Clinches Movie Of The Year and Comedy Movie Of The Year

The thing is that while we're not sure exactly what particular professionals make up these numbers, it is safe to say that they lean toward more traditional cinema than anything else. Even when the Academy has opened its door to diverse categories, it'll be safe to assume that there are many who still find more traditionally palatable movies attuned to their indie and artistic taste.

The Disappointment of No Barbenheimer At the Awards


Barbenheimer was all the trend back in July when Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer was revealed to be releasing on the same day as Barbie. As far as the Box Office collections are concerned, Margot's Starrer won that race with $1.4 Billion internationally. However, from the looks of it, Cillian Murphy's film has outdone its opponent this award season, with most probably Oscars waiting to be their crowning achievement. While I think Oppenheimer deserved every praise in the book for its artistry and damning message for humanity, I had foolishly thought in early January that Barbenhimer is going to continue to rule the awards as well, which sadly has not materiliased. 

Two sides to the same coin


I cannot deny that I am disappointed by Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig not getting their well-deserved due at the upcoming Oscars, and while it is fine for us to condemn that, I possibly cannot overlook the many talented women who did manage to earn themselves a nomination.

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The 2024 Oscars brought a lot of good and bad surprises. While I've now extensively covered the most talked about negatives of this year, it's time to look at the many welcomed firsts. Lily Gladstone became the first Native American to be nominated for Best Actress at the prestigious awards for her role in Killers of the Flower Moon. Following right behind her is America Ferrera who's become the first ever Honduran-decent nominee at the Oscars, she's earned a nod for supporting actress. So, yes, while Barbie did not earn as many accolades as I thought it deserved, that doesn't mean that all is lost. With many talented women breaking the glass ceiling with their every project, it is time we celebrate their contribution to cinema this past year as much as Barbie.

ALSO READ: Oscar Nominations 2024: Complete List of Nominees ft. Oppenheimer & Killers of the Flower Moon in the lead

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About The Author

Apoorva has been a pop-culture fanatic for so long that at this point her brain remembers random memes better

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