During awards season, it is not unusual for there to be mentions of “snubs” – a term that is rarely heard outside of this time of year. However, the Oscar nominations released on Tuesday caused a major uproar with what can only be called a “turbosnub.” The Academy’s failure to acknowledge Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the director and lead actress of the upcoming film Barbie, has sparked a historic controversy. Social media is ablaze with anger over these snubs, and as we all know, it takes a lot to anger social media users.
Thankfully, a hero has appeared to rescue us all. Ryan Gosling, who was nominated for his role as Ken, issued a statement expressing his strong anger at the lack of recognition for the film. He stated, “Barbie and Ken are inseparable, and the success of this remarkable and internationally acclaimed movie would not have been possible without the exceptional contributions of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie. Their talent, determination, and brilliance are what made this film possible. I am extremely disappointed that they were not recognized in their respective categories.”
Although it’s acceptable to doubt the accuracy of his statement, as the Oscars consistently nominate five individuals for best director and 10 films for best picture, it’s statistically probable for such a snub to occur. However, one cannot dispute the truth that Gosling accurately captured the current sentiment. The omission of Gerwig and Robbie’s nominations left the world bewildered, but Gosling’s commentary perfectly expressed the frustration felt by many.
This was a strategic decision because there exists a possibility where Gosling’s nomination would have portrayed him as the antagonist of the narrative. As illustrated by a meme circulating on Instagram, it is a common theme in Barbie’s story for a man to receive recognition for a woman’s accomplishments. Therefore, it would have been easy for the public to turn against him for this very reason. However, by vigorously supporting Gerwig and Robbie, this outcome is now unlikely to occur.
This also represents another milestone in the awards season, where he has yet to make a misstep. While Jo Koy delivered a disastrous monologue at the Golden Globes, lacking any jokes and strangely defensive (including a comment about Barbie’s physical appearance), the most memorable reaction came from Gosling. As the camera panned to him, presumably hoping for a positive response, viewers saw him frowning at Koy in the same way they were likely frowning at Koy. And when his song “I’m Just Ken” won a Critics’ Choice award, his expression – best described as shock and confusion – perfectly mirrored the general public’s reaction.
If you are searching for the complete opposite of this, then you should check out Oliver Stone’s recent disapproval of Gosling. Stone stated that Gosling was not making good use of his time by starring in movies like Barbie, which he believes only adds to the immaturity of Hollywood. The backlash to Stone’s remarks was so intense that he had to publicly apologize by sharing a screenshot of a written apology on the Notes app, as is customary for those who have been publicly criticized.
Gosling’s Oscar statement could also be seen as a response to this. Since the release of Barbie, Gosling has been fully committed to the film, enthusiastically promoting it with genuine enthusiasm. It may have been easy to mistake his dedication for solely funding the project. Gosling has always had strong faith in Barbie and his role in it, making his statement a rebuttal to any critics who dismissed it as a superficial, commercialized movie based on a beloved toy franchise.
It is highly anticipated that all attention will be focused on Gosling during the Oscars in March. He has consistently shown an ability to connect with the public, making him the central figure of the ceremony experience. He will likely be shown on camera when Barbie wins an award and even more so when she does not. Despite not being favored to win, as Robert Downey Jr is considered a sure winner, Gosling has become more than just an nominee. He has become the people’s choice for best supporting actor.
It is important to mention that America Ferrera was also recognized for her role in Barbie, and she expressed her disappointment with the lack of recognition for Gerwig and Robbie. However, attention was primarily given to Ryan Gosling, as that aligns with the purpose of Barbie.