Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig’s Oscars 2024 Barbie Snubs ‘Wrong on Every Level,’ Says Academy Member (Exclusive)
The source tells PEOPLE a lack of Best Actress and Best Director nominations for ‘Barbie’ was “a terrible miss”
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With Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s names absent in the Best Actress and Best Director 2024 Oscar categories, many were left confused and frustrated and looking for answers.
According to one member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, this year’s exclusion of Robbie in the Best Actress category and Gerwig in Best Director are an example of “the ultimate in patriarchy.”
Robbie was nominated for Best Picture as a producer of the film while Gerwig was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay with her husband Noah Baumbach. For his role as Ken, Ryan Gosling received a Best Supporting Actor nomination, along with America Ferrera, who scored a Best Supporting Actress nod for her work in Barbie.
But for some, the absences were glaring in Best Actress and Best Director. “I feel sad that that recognition, which is so deserving, was snubbed because it’s wrong on every level,” the source tells PEOPLE.
The source notes that largely, “each category, each branch nominates from their branch,” except for best picture, which is voted on by all members.
“That’s how the nominations work,” adds the source. “Every branch nominates for their branch and everybody votes for final voting.”
Academy members use preferential ballots weighted towards voters’ No. 1 and No. 2 favorites, but still, the source says given how well the movie did across the ballot, it’s unclear “how the algorithm worked that she [Gerwig] didn’t get enough votes for a directing nod.”
The film’s comedic nature may have also affected the outcome. “Comedies traditionally don’t do well at the Academy,” the source says. “And this is a film that, yes, was a comedy and it grossed over $1 billion. How do you not give credit to the director?”
“How many female directors had films that gross that?” asks the source. “This was a phenomenon.”
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Although the source notes the headline-making snubs are “a terrible miss,” the nominations did showcase historic diversity, including Killers of the Flower Moon Best Actress hopeful Lily Gladstone, who is the the first Native American actress to be nominated for an Oscar. Emily Blunt, Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown, America Ferrera and Cillian Murphy earned the first nominations of their career.
Women are also taking up space at the table, making up one-third of all nominees this year. This includes nine female nominees for Best Picture and one woman, Anatomy of a Fall’s Justine Triet, in contention for Best Director. Triet’s nomination marks the fifth consecutive year at least one film nominated for Best Picture has been directed by a woman.
Since the start of the Oscars in 1929, only eight women, including Triet, 45, have been nominated in the Best Director category. Just three have won: Jane Campion in 2021, Chloé Zhao in 2020 and Kathryn Bigelow in 2009.
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The Academy member says a feeling of inevitability around Barbie may have ultimately cost it votes.
“When you’ve got a film that’s such a populist film, I think the popularity of it just made people think, ‘Oh well, people went to see it. Let’s show some love to other films, such as Poor Things. Let’s show some love to Anatomy of a Fall.’”
This year’s Best Director nominations include Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall), Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon), Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer), Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things) and Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest).
In the Best Actress category are Annette Bening (Nyad), Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall), Carey Mulligan (Maestro) and Emma Stone (Poor Things).
On Wednesday’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg disagreed with the discourse around Gerwig and Robbie being left out of the Best Actress and Best Director categories.
“Here’s the deal: Everybody doesn’t win!” Goldberg said as the hosts discussed their favorite films that did or did not snag nominations. “They’re not snubs, and that’s what I want to point out.”
She added: “You don’t get everything that you want to get…Movies are subjective. Not everybody gets a prize. The movies you love may not be loved by the people who are voting.”