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Barbie: Bill Maher Is The Latest Man To Get Upset About Greta Gerwig's Blockbuster

Since its release on July 21, 2023, Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" has been racking up accolades — and beyond that, audiences have made it clear that they liked the movie, considering that it handily earned a billion dollars at the box office. Do you know who's mad at it, though? Some dudes.

Despite established comedian Marc Maron coming out in defense of "Barbie" and saying men who don't like it are "babies," men are still putting their negative "Barbie" opinions out into the world regardless. One such man is contrarian late-night host Bill Maher, who took to Twitter to complain about not liking a movie made for women that's about a doll.

In an extra-long tweet (somebody's paying for verification perks), Maher wrote, "OK, 'Barbie': I was hoping it wouldn't be preachy, man-hating, and a #ZombieLie – alas, it was all three." He then goes on to explain his term "zombie lie," which refers to either a falsehood that's been said so often that people now think it's true (Maher uses the example of people saying tax cuts for the wealthy help everybody) or something that used to be the case, but isn't. So what's Maher's argument? That sexism is over, apparently.

"Spoiler alert, Barbie fights the Patriarchy," Maher continued. "Right up to the Mattel board who created her, consisting of 12 white men! The Patriarchy! Except there's a Mattel board in real life, and it's 7 men and 5 women. OK, not perfect even-steven, but not the way the board IN THE MOVIE – which takes place in 2023 – is portrayed. And not really any longer deserving of the word 'patriarchy.' Yes, there was one, and remnants of it remain – but this movie is so 2000-LATE."

Bill Maher says the Barbie movie is 'preachy' and 'man-hating'

After saying that the patriarchy no longer exists because the Mattel board has some women on it, Maher continued: "At one point the Barbies have to win over the Kens, and they are told to do it by pretending to act helpless and not know how to do stuff. Helen Gurley Brown called, she wants her premise back. Yes, that WAS a thing. I saw 'Barbie' with a woman in her 30s who said, 'I don't know a single woman of any age who would act like that today.'"

Maher, armed with the feedback of one (1) human woman, went on to conclude that he has numbers on his side to prove the patriarchy is dead. "I know, I know, 'How could I know about the patriarchy, I AM a man!'" Maher went on. "That argument is so old and so silly. Of course, none of us can know exactly what others go through life, but I can see the world around me, and I can read data. The real Mattel board is a pretty close mirror of the country, where 45% of the 449 board seats filled last year in Fortune 500 companies were women. Truth is, I'm not the one who's out of step – I'm living in the year we're living in. Barbie is fun, I enjoyed it – but it IS a #ZombieLie. And people who don't go along with zombie lies did not take some red pill – just staying true to CURRENT reality. Let's live in the year we're living in! Hi Ken!!!"

In March of 2023, the United States Department of Labor released data that confirmed women are paid 83.7% less than men in similar jobs. In 2022, Black women earned 70% of what white men make, while Hispanic women made 65%.

Men are getting really mad about the Barbie movie

Maher isn't alone in hating "Barbie." Ben Shapiro has made several YouTube videos ranting about the movie since its release; in his first one, he threw two Barbies that he either purchased or stole from his own children into a trashcan, missing in the process and then "setting" the dolls on "fire" with a bomb á la "Oppenheimer." (This was definitely the message of "Oppenheimer," by the way: blowing stuff up is good.) Fellow right-wing commentator Matt Walsh described "Barbie" as "the most aggressively anti-man, feminist propaganda fest ever put to film," although Walsh also made it clear that he did not actually sit down and watch the movie.

Over in the United States government, elected official Senator Ted Cruz attacked a movie about a toy for being "pro-China" thanks to a map that depicts a contested area in the South China Sea. (As has been repeatedly noted, the map is drawn in a childlike hand, and England is wearing a crown on it.) Matt Gaetz and his wife Ginger, who attended the "Barbie" premiere during the SAG-AFTRA strike — meaning that none of the film's all-star cast was available to walk the carpet or do any publicity — also disliked the film, with Ginger saying she thought Ken, who famously does not have genitalia, seemed like he had "low [testosterone]." These complaints are particularly fascinating, especially when you consider that the message of the movie isn't just about how the patriarchy hurts Barbies, but how it hurts Kens too.

A big message in Barbie is that the patriarchy doesn't actually work for anybody

There are many valid interpretations as well as good-faith critiques to be made about Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" movie, but one thing seems pretty apparent: the movie's central thesis is that one group being completely in charge of society is actually a bad thing. At first, Barbie (Margot Robbie) and her fellow Barbies live in a pink utopia known as Barbie Land, and they all genuinely believe that they've solved sexism in the real world. When Barbie has to venture into the real world to grapple with her own newly developed dark thoughts, though, she brings Ken (Ryan Gosling), who discovers patriarchy there... and loves it.

Ken heads back to Barbie Land without Barbie and immediately installs the "Kendom," stacking the deck for all the Kens and subjugating the Barbies as they become brainwashed servants. So is Ken happy now? No, not really. After Barbie manages to restore Barbie Land to its former glory, Ken admits that not only did he hate running everything, he stopped caring about patriarchy all together after realizing it had nothing to do with horses. Patriarchy didn't just hurt Barbies, but it hurt the Kens... and at the end of the movie, the Barbies give the Kens the same opportunities women have in the real world — because they need to work their way into positions of power the Barbies have created and earned.

Clearly, though, Maher and his ilk weren't paying attention during one of Ken's scenes in the real world. After demanding a high-paying job and being told he needs advanced degrees, Ken says he doesn't think men are doing the patriarchy very well. The businessman tells him that no, they are; they just hide it better now.

"Barbie" is currently in theaters.