Ben’s Barbie Movie Backlash

Our analysis on Ben Shapiro’s Barbie statements
Bens Barbie Movie Backlash

The 2023 film, Barbie, brought forward a wave of contradicting responses after its release. Many were able to come together over the movie, but others were not so easy to compel. A large portion of the critics complained that Barbie was promoting an anti-men agenda and made a point to leave a negative overview of the film.

One of the main advocates for this idea is 39 year old Benjamin Aaron Shapiro. Ben made a 43 minute video “destroying” the Barbie movie. In the post on X promoting the video, the title of the video, and description of the video, it is made clear that Ben’s intent in the video is not to review it, but to find as many negative things to say about the movie as possible.

During his review, he gives a very detailed description of his opinion of the film. However, enough to cover the entire video is displayed within the first minute, where Barbie dolls can be seen on fire in a garbage can, fake screaming and all.

Benny said, and I quote, “Every joke that happens in this film, happens basically within the first 45 seconds of the film.” In the first 55 seconds of his video, Benjamin has already set Barbie dolls on fire, told us that he was “dragged” to see the Barbie movie, and said, “this movie is not just a piece of shit, this movie is a flaming piece of dog shit piled atop an entire dumpster on fire piled atop a landfill filled with dogs”. C’mon Ben, we all know that you wanted to see the movie.

A point that Ben makes sure to emphasize is that the movie does not have a basic idea and the writers did not know what they were doing. He immediately follows by saying, “The basic premise of the film, politically speaking, is that men and women are on two sides of divided and they hate each other and literally the only way you can have a happy world is if the women ignore the men and if the men ignore the women”.  The divide between men and women in the Barbie movie is not to make the point that the world would thrive off of separation, but to show that there isn’t another option. It shows that in order for men and women to function healthily in the world together, men need to begin respecting and acknowledging the struggles, boundaries, and capabilities of women.

Shapiro speaks throughout the video about how the movie is “made for no one”, claiming that Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have no audience. He mentions that the movie makes references to a variety of ridiculous media such as 2001: a Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Marcel Proust, Robert Evans, Citizens United, and the voice of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Shapiro continues to talk about how these are out of place in a movie directed towards the audience of mothers and their young daughters, but these references are not included in the film to appeal to children. The messaging goes beyond that.

The references in the movie are used as a way to connect to more people and expand the audience. The Barbie movie is for everyone, especially considering the message that it is trying to get across. If this movie was really made just for mothers and their young daughters, it would have a much lighter plot and conflict in it. The writers know that they do not need to help women understand the struggles of women. This movie is supposed to reach out further to those in the audience that don’t understand or are choosing to ignore. However, the writers would never be able to do that if they didn’t use the references as a way to catch the attention of those they are trying to reach.

Circling back to Shapiro’s statement about Greta and Noah, he questions, “Who thought ‘it’s a great idea, let’s bring on the people who wrote Ladybird and Marriage Story to make a movie about a plastic doll that is generally played with by five to nine year old young girls”. Barbie is full of lessons that can have an impact on everyone. Yet, since they are not accepted by the ones who need to hear it most, these ideas need to be masked into the movie. Considering that, Noah and Greta’s experience in film more than qualifies them for writing this film. Ladybird and Marriage Story clearly demonstrates their capabilities in expressing messages that are meant to be contemplated for a while.

Ben’s extreme reaction to the film was not only irrational, but also a little embarrassing, considering that a recurring statement in the video was that the film is made for “seven year-old girls and their moms”. The Barbie movie obviously brings up topics that are touchy for certain people, Ben Shapiro being one of these people. Regardless of this, you cannot hide your hostility towards women behind snarky comments about how the film is a “flaming piece of dog shit”.

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