By Ava Gilchrist

Greta Gerwig Had The Impeccable Response To Misogynistic ‘Barbie’ Jab From The 2024 Golden Globes

He was right on..."

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 07: Greta Gerwig attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 07, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Greta Gerwig must be protected at all costs. The multi-hyphenated actress and director delivered the perfect response to Jo Koy’s panned opening monologue from the 2024 Golden Globes, in which he whittled the triumphant and box-office-breaking Barbie Film down to being about a “doll with big boobies”.

For the uninitiated, the veteran stand-up comic handed down what is now being labelled as a sexist jab in his introductory speech at the 81st annual industry event. He touched on the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon and the unexpected double-billing that resulted in unprecedented fanfare about the polar opposite films.

Koy congratulated the Gerwig-helmed feminist retelling of the silicon icon and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer for their respective “Best Motion Picture” nominations. Like many before him, Koy compared the films, joking that, “Oppenheimer is based on the 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Manhattan Project — and Barbie is about a plastic doll with big boobies.”

Watch Jo Koy’s Barbie jab from his opening monologue at the 81st Golden Globe awards.

Given Gerwig so deftly wove themes of gender inequality, female empowerment, patriarchy and the significance of girlhood under the guise of a saccharine, family-friendly musical comedy, many found Koy’s barb to be inappropriate, unnecessary and frankly sexist.

During a two-shot in the ceremony, the camera honed in on Gerwig to capture her reaction to the poorly-delivered jest. She was seen nodding with a dispirited look on her face, knowing that all of Hollywood just heard her billion-dollar and glass-ceiling-shattering film reduced to a humourless punchline.

But Gerwig has had the last laugh, acknowledging that Barbie’s appearance was partly the impetus for her popularity. “Well, he’s not wrong,” Gerwig said. “She’s the first doll that was mass-produced with breasts, so he was right on,” she continued.

“I think that so much of the project of the movie was unlikely because it is about a plastic doll…The insight that Ruth Handler [Barbie’s inverter] had when she was watching her daughter play with baby dolls, is she realised, ‘My daughter doesn’t want to pretend to be a mother. She wants to pretend to be a grown woman.’” The acme of handling things with aplomb.

As Gerwig honed home during the film, Barbie is both an ideal and a vehicle for embodying the innate contradictions inherent to what society expects from women. (As you may have gleaned, America Ferrera’s monologue in the film’s second act is symbolic of this tightrope we walk in a society operating under patriarchy).

So yes, Koy, Barbie is more than a film about a doll with boobs. To borrow Saoirse Ronan’s speech as Jo March in Gerwig’s Little Women, “Women have minds and souls as well as hearts, ambition and talent as well as beauty.” And apparently, breasts worth commenting on, too.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie accepts the award for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement for “Barbie” at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)

This story first appeared on GRAZIA International