“Barbie” earned more than $155 million at the box office last weekend. However, a leading Christian film critic is warning families to avoid seeing it. “The movie is worse than you could possibly expect,” Dr. Ted Baehr of Movieguide told Faithwire. “It’s hardcore propaganda. ‘Barbie’ just is terrible.”
Baehr said the movie opens with a scene featuring girls playing with baby dolls and the children “bash them and slap them” and proclaim something along the lines of, “We don’t have to be mothers anymore.”
“Barbie is hardcore feminist and paints men as the problem in society,” he said. “Barbie has to leave because she’s not adapting to this hate of the patriarchal society, although she hates Ken. Men are the villain, and there are a couple of trans people playing characters. You’re saying to those little girls who go to see this movie that some little boy can be a better girl than that little girl. It’s an attack on men.”
As for the LGBTQ themes in the movie, Baehr said they are “extremely overt” and “not subtle.” Beyond the themes, Movieguide contends the movie is poorly made with multiple premises and isn’t easy to follow, even for the brand’s most ardent fans.
“They had a built-in market and audience for this franchise that they completely ignored,” a Movieguide staff member aid. “Millions of families would have turned out to the theaters and purchased tickets, but instead, Mattel chose to cater to a small percentage of the population who has proven over and over to abandon the box office. Movieguide’s 40 years of research indicate this just isn’t true, and Mattel has made a grievous mistake.”
The content issues with “Barbie” come as other brands such as Target and Bud Light have made headlines over their handling of LGBTQ issues. Entertainment companies such as Disney also have been in the crosshairs, with Disney movies reportedly struggling at the box office. One report last month found The Walt Disney Company is hemorrhaging money, with revenue losses nearing $900 million for recent theatrical releases. The report comes after releases such as “Strange World,” “Elemental” and “Lightyear” featured either same-sex relationships or nonbinary characters.
Not all the secular reviews of Barbie have been gushing.
While most have praised it, some have said it portrays a utopian world that has its own problems.
Katie Pickles, a historian at the University of Canterbury, writes that the film actually shows that “matriarchy can be just as damaging as patriarchy,” reports the Washington Examiner.
Apparently this happens after Ken discovers the patriarchy in the real world and takes the ideology back to Barbie Land. From here, the film takes “a dark turn,” Pickles writes. No longer simply an accessory to Barbie (Margot Robie), Ken “dances, prowls and flexes to steal the show.”
In other words, Ken decides he wants his own identity. In doing so, he flips the script. He turns himself into a victim, whining “about blonde fragility and every night being a girls’ night.”
“This is where the movie is at its most profound. Ken, not Barbie, is the victim of sexism,” Pickles writes. “As Barbie has flourished, Ken has been left behind. Kens are the objectified, excluded second sex.”
The problem, says writer John Miltmore, is that “the film is still training people to view the world through the lens of intersectionality, power, and oppression.
This is why I won’t be taking my daughter to the film. I’m trying to teach her not to view the world through this prism. Instead, I want to teach her simply to see people as individuals, all of whom should be treated with love, respect, and dignity.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice