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Shonda Rhimes: ‘Barbie Shouldn’t Have Been A Feminist Manifesto’

Rhimes believes it was wrong to expect a deep feminist message from a movie about a doll.

Shonda Rhimes watched ‘Barbie’ at home, and she has some interesting things to say about the film.

Rhimes says the expectations placed on ‘Barbie’ were too high. She recently told Variety that it was a delightful watch if you were just expecting a typical Barbie story. However, she claims many wanted the movie to deliver a strong feminist message, but it wasn’t necessary:

“If you’re expecting a ‘Barbie’ movie, then I thought it was great. But I think a lot of people were expecting so much more, and then tried to make it so much more. There was nothing wrong with the movie; I thought it was totally delightful. But the weight people put on a movie about ‘Barbie’ was very interesting to me. I think that people wanted it to be sort of this feminist manifesto that it doesn’t need to be.”

‘Barbie’ was released on the same day as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer as part of the ‘Barbenhaimer’ phenomenon. Their total earnings were over $2.4 billion.

Rhimes Has A Barbie-Related Project

Rhimes bought a documentary called ‘Black Barbie.’ It will soon be available on Netflix. This documentary looks at the history of Black Barbie dolls and the three Black women at Mattel who helped introduce them in 1980. Rhimes hopes the documentary will show how important these dolls have been to many girls, including herself when she was young:

“I think there’s something really powerful about it. I played with those dolls when I was a kid. We also had just a very interesting opportunity to add to that documentary, and to provide a lot more content and context. We have added interviews; we’ve been inside Mattel.”

Rhimes is not just producing the documentary; she’s also adding more content to it. Back in 2022, she got her own Barbie doll as well.

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