Whoopi Goldberg mocks ‘emasculated’ conservatives over Barbie criticism: ‘It’s a movie about a doll!’

Republican Texas senator Ted Cruz accused ‘Barbie’ filmmakers of ‘trying to kiss up to the Chinese communist party’

Tom Murray
Tuesday 25 July 2023 20:58 BST
Ben Shapiro sets fire to Barbie and Ken dolls in movie review

Whoopi Goldberg has defended the new Barbie film against conservative backlash.

On her ABC chat show The View on Tuesday (25 July), Goldberg, 67, shared clips of right-wing commentators including Ted Cruz and Ben Shapiro criticising the new Greta Gerwig comedy.

Republican Texas senator Cruz accused the filmmakers of “trying to kiss up to the Chinese communist party” (over the movie’s portrayal of the South China Sea) while Shapiro called the film “angry, feminist claptrap”.

Taking a pause, Goldberg responded: “It’s a movie! It’s a movie about a doll.

“I thought y’all would be happy. She has no genitalia, so there’s no sex involved. Ken has no genitalia!”

The host continued: “The kids know it’s colourful and it’s Barbie. They haven’t lived through what the adults have lived through. So when they’re seeing this movie, that’s not how they’re looking at it. The kids are looking at it as a Barbie movie.

“You guys, I want y’all to tell your daughters why you’re not taking them to the Barbie movie,” she added. “I want you to explain to them what’s wrong with Barbie.”

Goldberg’s co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin suggested that right-wing commentators like Cruz and Shapiro were “out of touch” with real-life Republicans as her friends from both sides of the political spectrum had “lined up” to see the Margot Robbie-led picture.

“I’m so taken by some of these right-wing men who have all these thoughts on masculinity,” Farah Griffin said. “Like, somehow, the Barbie movie Is going to make them feel emasculated. No, caring so much about it is honestly the most emasculating thing I could think about it.”

Shapiro faced intense mockery online for his 43-minute-long tirade against Barbie, which he shared on his YouTube channel on Saturday (22 July).

Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’ (Warner Bros Pictures)

The video began with the columnist bizarrely setting fire to a bin full of Barbie and Ken dolls. Shapiro’s criticisms included the presence of a transgender character and its overall satire of the patriarchy.

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“I mean, Greta Gerwig is a lady. She’s making a good living off of this,” he said of the director. “Margot Robbie is playing the lead. In fact, the entire cast aside from basically Ryan Gosling is women, so it seems like women are doing OK.”

In response, MSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote: “That does it… I was not sure if I would go see it…. but now I will definitely go…. at a minimum maybe Barbie will tell us all what woke means…”

Since its release on 21 July, Barbie has smashed box office records, earning $337m (£265.4m) in global ticket sales from its opening weekend.

The Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey called the film a “near-miraculous achievement” in her five-star review.

Barbie is out now in cinemas.

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