Bill Maher Discusses 'Barbie' Oscars Issue on 'Real Time': Questioning Patriarchy

Exploring Hollywood's Latest Oscars Controversy on 'Real Time'

by Zain ul Abedin
Bill Maher Discusses 'Barbie' Oscars Issue on 'Real Time': Questioning Patriarchy
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In a recent episode of HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher sparked conversation by addressing the Oscars controversy surrounding "Barbie," specifically the snubs of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie. The show, a Los Angeles entertainment scene staple, particularly during Oscars season, provided Maher with a platform to delve into the heated topic.

This year's Oscar nominations, announced on Tuesday, saw "Barbie" garnering eight nominations, including Best Picture. However, the film's leading lady, Margot Robbie, and director, Greta Gerwig, were noticeably absent from the Best Leading Actress and Best Director categories.

Maher humorously likened the uproar over this to a matter for the International Criminal Court. The snubs have not gone unnoticed, with notable Hollywood personalities and "Barbie" fans expressing their disappointment. Among them, Ryan Gosling, who earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ken, and Michelle Yeoh have voiced their concerns.

Conversely, Whoopi Goldberg offered a different perspective on "The View," emphasizing that not receiving an Oscar nod doesn't equate to a snub.

Maher Questions Oscars Snub

Maher's commentary on the issue extended to questioning the extent of the controversy.

He pointed out that Robbie lost the nomination to other actresses, not to an unworthy contender, raising the question of whether this situation reflects patriarchal influence. The discussion continued with Maher's guests, including Rep.

Adam Schiff and Seth MacFarlane. Schiff remarked that the "Barbie" snubs alone couldn't be used to deduce America's patriarchal status. Maher also shared insights from the film, noting discrepancies between the portrayal of Mattel's board in "Barbie" and its real-life composition.

He recalled a scene where the Barbies win back the Kens by acting helpless, a portrayal he and his companion found unreflective of contemporary women. Interestingly, while Robbie missed out on acting honors, she did receive an Oscar nomination as a producer in the Best Picture category.

Gerwig was also recognized with a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The episode, featuring sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, added Maher's unique perspective to the ongoing debate about representation and recognition in Hollywood.