Barbie actor John Cena has responded to Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig’s Oscars snubs, saying: “Awards aren’t the only barometer of success.”
The star of the box office juggernaut was excluded from the best actress line-up at the Oscar nominations on Tuesday, while Gerwig was left out of best director contention.
Robbie’s co-stars, Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera, were both nominated in supporting categories, while Gerwig did get a nod for best adapted screenplay, alongside her husband and co-screenwriter Noah Baumbach.
Robbie is named in the best picture category as a producer of Barbie.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 24, 2024
Asked about the snubs, Cena, who has a scene-stealing cameo as Merman Ken in the film, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I hear you. Unfortunately, I can’t give a good answer for that, because I’m not involved in that decision-making.
“Certainly what I can say is I know Margot Robbie personally, and working with Greta was extra special, she keeps a wonderful set, that’s a reflection of how successful film was.
“I guess, personally, the only thing I can say is, awards aren’t the only barometer of success.
“I’m really grateful to be part of a universe that literally changed the way that films are made and impacted a whole lot of people around the world. So I often operate in the construct of control what you can – and that stuff is beyond my control.”
Reflecting on how he came to land a role in the film, which scored eight Oscar nominations, he described it as “a complete happy accident” after he bumped into Robbie at a London restaurant.
He said: “The next day I got a call. But I think the production was maybe thinking that it would be beneath me to be in it for like two seconds.
“They were like ‘Hey, listen, we have a spot, but you’re gonna have to be a merman.’
“I said ‘Wait, I get to be a merman? No problem!'”
Gosling has already expressed his disappointment at the snubbing of Gerwig and Robbie.
He said in a statement: “There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.
“No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.”
Gosling described it as an “understatement” to say he is disappointed that the pair were not nominated in their respective categories.
“Against all odds with nothing but a couple of soulless, scantily clad, and thankfully crotchless dolls, they made us laugh, they broke our hearts, they pushed the culture and they made history.
“Their work should be recognised along with the other very deserving nominees,” he added.
Other famous faces have also hit out at the omissions, with Full House star John Stamos paying tribute to Gerwig and Robbie by recreating a scene from the film with his wife.
He wrote on Instagram: “This one goes out to Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, who crafted a film that was both a critical success and a cultural phenomenon, delving into feminist themes through the lens of Barbie and challenging patriarchal norms.
“This movie not only resonated deeply, but also grossed OVER a billion dollars.
“Yet, in a twist of irony, both women were snubbed by the Academy. Everyone go re-watch Barbie tonight.”
And that last very eloquent tweet I posted came from @JohnStamos, in real life, not in a post. I loved it. Thought it said EXACTLY what needed to be said, and posted it but it wasn’t mine. Too good not to be out in the world.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) January 24, 2024
Bette Midler quoted Stamos’s statement on X, formerly Twitter, adding: “Thought it said EXACTLY what needed to be said, and posted it but it wasn’t mine. Too good not to be out in the world.”
Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause also blasted the “embarrassing omission”, writing on her Instagram story: “This Barbie will not be watching (the Oscars). Do better.”