Barbie’s Greta Gerwig On Jo Koy’s Controversial Golden Globes Joke: ‘He’s Not Wrong’

In that same interview, Greta Gerwig delved into the history of the Barbie doll itself, large plastic breasts notwithstanding. As she noted, the toy’s creator was inspired to create something different after seeing her daughter — Barbara, who ultimately became the namesake for the doll — and her limited toy options.

“The insight that [Barbie creator] Ruth Handler had when she was watching her daughter play with baby dolls, is she realised, ‘My daughter doesn’t want to pretend to be a mother. She wants to pretend to be a grown woman,'” Gerwig told the radio program. Not only is the director well versed in the history of Barbie, she goes so far as to include Handler in the film, where she’s played by Rhea Perlman and acts as a sort of deity towards Margot Robbie’s Barbie. At the end of the film, Ruth even helps Barbie become a real woman and transcend her identity as a “perfect” doll.

With all of this in mind, Gerwig told the BBC that the doll’s history is what inspired her. “Barbie has been around since 1959… she’s been a villain and she’s been a hero, but it felt like in a way, even though it’s so seemingly superficial, that it was such a rich place to start.” Clearly, Gerwig thought the concept of Barbie through quite thoroughly and went well beyond the doll’s physique … no matter what Jo Koy said during his monologue.

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