Bill Maher doesn’t think Greta Gerwig’s representation of life in plastic is all that fantastic.
The “Real Time” host shared his thoughts Monday about “Barbie” on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Though the film starring Margot Robbie as the titular character has surpassed $1 billion at the box office since its July 21 release date, Maher wasn’t impressed.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t be preachy, man-hating, and a #ZombieLie – alas, it was all three,” Maher began. He described a “zombie lie” as “something that never was true, but certain people refuse to stop saying it (tax cuts for the rich increase revenues, e.g.); OR something that USED to be true but no longer is, but certain people pretend it’s still true. ‘Barbie’ is this kind of #ZombieLie.”
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Maher continued, taking issue with portrayal of Mattel’s board in the film as “12 white men! The Patriarchy!” he wrote. “Except there’s a Mattel board in real life, and it’s 7 men and 5 women.” Mattel’s website currently identifies 11 Board of Directors, consisting of six men and five women.
“OK, not perfect even-steven,” Maher went on, “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.”
“I know, I know, ‘How could I know about the patriarchy, I AM a man!'” Maher wrote, preemptively going on the defense. “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,” Maher added. “Barbie is fun, I enjoyed it – but it IS a #ZombieLie,” Maher wrote in conclusion. “Let’s live in the year we’re living in! Hi Ken!!!”
Though, it appears Maher might be quoting from older data. According to this year’s Heidrick & Struggles’ Board Monitor US report, there were 414 Fortune 500 board appointments made in 2022 (a decrease from 449 in 2021). And only 40% of the 2022 openings were filled by women, per the report, down from 45% in 2021. Furthermore, the company’s analysis of CEOs released in 2022 found that women made up 7% of CEOs around the world. Last year women in America “earned an average of 82% of what men earned,” per Pew Research Center findings that looked at “median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers.”
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