Greta Gerwig doesn’t seem too upset over the polarizing “Barbie” joke Jo Koy made during his gig hosting the 2024 Golden Globes. Koy received mostly negative reviews for his hosting stint, and the “Barbie” joke led to backlash on social media as many viewers thought Koy was being reductive and sexist toward the film.
During his opening monologue, Koy tipped his hat to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon by jokingly comparing Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” with Gerwig’s “Barbie.”
“‘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,” he joked as the audience responded with a muted laugh.
Given that Gerwig’s “Barbie” actively fights against gender stereotypes, many Golden Globes viewers found Koy’s joke to be tasteless and not needed. However, Gerwig appeared on BBC Radio 4 Today and had a different, more glass-half-full take when asked about the joke.
“Well, he’s not wrong,” Gerwig said about Koy. “She’s the first doll that was mass-produced with breasts, so he was right on. And you know, 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 had when she was watching her daughter play with baby dolls, is she realized, ‘My daughter doesn’t want to pretend to be a mother. She wants to pretend to be a grown woman,’”
Gerwig’s film won the first-ever Golden Globe for cinematic and box office achievement, hardly a surprise given that it was both a critical hit and box office force with $1.4 billion worldwide. Those ticket sales made the comedy the highest-grossing movie of 2023, plus the top earner in Warner Bros.’ history.
“It was very wonderful and emotional to be able to take to the stage with the group that made it,” Gerwig said of winning the Globe. “It felt very fitting… for all of us, the thing that we wanted most of all was to connect with people and to have people share an experience in the cinemas, in the movie theatres. It felt like even though this is a brand new award, it felt like it was the award to honor that and that was always what we wanted to do.”
The box office achievement award was the only prize awarded to “Barbie” at the 2024 Golden Globes, as Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things” prevailed in the best motion picture comedy or musical category. Gerwig’s comedy still remains on track for a boatload of Oscar nominations, and it most recently picked up four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, including outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture.
Koy appeared on “GMA3: What You Need to Know” the morning after the Golden Globes and admitted that he “fell short” as host and that he had an “off night.”