Oliver Stone Backtracks Over Negative Barbie Comments I Apologize for Speaking Ignorantly

Oliver Stone, Margot Robbie in ‘BARBIE.’
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images;Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Entertainment

After previously slamming Barbie, director Oliver Stone is backtracking his negative comments and now is praising the blockbuster film.

In a recently resurfaced June 2023 interview with City AM, the four-time Oscar winner, 77, blasted Barbie’s male lead for appearing in the movie.

Ryan Gosling is wasting his time if he’s doing that s–t for money. He should be doing more serious films,” Stone said at the time. “He shouldn’t be a part of this infantilization of Hollywood. Now it’s all fantasy, fantasy, fantasy, including all the war pictures: fantasy, fantasy,”

On Monday, January 22, before the Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday, January 23, Stone clarified his criticism on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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He wrote that he made his comments “before the film came out,” adding, “[a]t the time, I was busy promoting my nuclear documentary in Europe and had little to no knowledge of the project beyond its title.”

“I was able to see Barbie in a theater back in July and appreciated the film for its originality and its themes,” Stone continued, “I found the filmmakers’ approach certainly different than what I expected. I apologize for speaking ignorantly.”

The Wall Street director also praised the film’s director.

Greta Gerwig’s 2017 film Lady Bird was one of my favorites of that year,” he wrote. “Barbie’s box office greatly boosted the morale of our business, which was welcome. I wish Greta and the entire Barbie team good fortune at the Oscars.”

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Barbie received eight Academy Award nominations on Tuesday, including Best Picture. Gosling, 43, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and America Ferrara is up for Best Supporting Actress.

“I’m Just Ken” performed by Gosling and composed by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, is nominated for Best Original Song. Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?” is also up for Best Original Song and is also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the upcoming Grammy Awards.

The remaining Barbie nominations are Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

Surprisingly, Gerwig, 40, was not nominated for Best Director. However, she was nominated as a cowriter with her husband, Noah Baumbach, for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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Margot Robbie, who portrayed Barbie and is also one of the producers of the film, was snubbed in the Best Actress category.

Barbie was the No. 1 film at the box office in 2023, grossing over $1.4 billion. Earlier this month, it won two Golden Globe Awards: Cinematic and Box Office Achievement and Best Original Song for “What Was I Made For?”

Golden Globes host Jo Koy was widely criticized for a joke he made about Barbie, comparing Gerwig’s film to Christoper Nolan‘s Oppenheimer. Joy said that the latter was “based on a 721-page Pulitzer Prize–winning book about the Manhattan Project, and Barbie is on a plastic doll with big boobies.”

During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Gerwig defended Koy, noting, “Well, he’s not wrong. 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.”

Gerwig added, “Barbie by her very construction has no character, no story, she’s there to be projected upon.”