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The Internet Has a Surprising Theory About Greta Gerwig's Barbie Oscars Snub

Since the 2024 Academy Award nominations were announced Tuesday, Barbie fans have been quick to point out that the lack of nominations for director Greta Gerwig and titular actor Margot Robbie felt like an ironic snub.

The summer blockbuster racked up eight nominations, among them Ryan Gosling’s acknowledgement in the Best Supporting Actor category. But a nod for Ken and not Barbie, in a film that touches on the infiltration of patriarchy, felt a little on the nose for some observers. It was strongly felt that Gerwig should be in the Best Director category, and that Robbie should be recognised alongside her fellow actresses.

But amid the outrage, a new theory has emerged as fans hope the film “pulls an Argo.” Cinephiles who remember Ben Affleck’s directorial snub for Argo during the 2013 Oscar nominations are hoping the snub could lead to Barbie bagging Best Picture.

One social media user posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Could Greta Gerwig’s Oscar snub be the thing that delivers the Best Picture Oscar for Barbie?” (As an executive producer but not a producer, Gerwig would not actually win an Oscar should Barbie win Best Picture).

Another X user wrote: “The only way to avenge Greta and Margot’s snub is to give it Best Picture. The academy has done it for less, Argo. You can do it #Oscars.”

Meanwhile, Reddit fans took a more strategic approach. "Could Greta Gerwig actually benefit from a director snub (a.k.a pull an Argo)?" one movie fan queried. “Maybe a director snub could actually play out in her favor. Voters knowing that Oppenheimer is likely to win bigger awards might vote for Gerwig in Best Adapted Screenplay,” they wrote.

“Both because it is a remarkable achievement as a script and to partially make up for the director snub.”

See below for further online commentary about the surprising theory.

Affleck had directed and starred in Argo, a biopic about a U.S. hostage crisis in Iran, which was nominated in seven categories and went on to win three awards including Best Picture at the 2013 awards ceremony. Affleck spoke about losing out on a Best Director nomination during a 2021 appearance on The Howard Stern Show. 

“It was the big snub, right? That really taught me a lot. I did everything they told me,” he said, adding that he engaged with the campaign for it because he actively wanted to win the award.

Recalling his snub, Affleck told Stern he called Warner Bros. and said “I’m never going to do it again… No handshaking.”

Gosling also expressed frustrations regarding Barbie’s snubs, saying he was “disappointed” by the lack of recognition for his colleagues.

America Ferrera, who portrays Mattel employee Gloria, expressed her views on the nominations, saying: “Greta has done just about everything that a director could do to deserve it. Creating this world, and taking something that didn’t have inherent value to most people and making it a global phenomenon. It feels disappointing to not see her on that list.”

In order to bag Best Picture, Barbie would have to beat out critically-acclaimed favorites such as Martin Scorsese’s The Killers of the Flower Moon, Celine Song’s Past Lives, and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

But fans will have to wait until the 96th Academy Awards ceremony on March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to see if their theory is proved correct.

Correction, Jan. 25

The original version of this story quoted a post on X that misstated Greta Gerwig's role with Barbie. She was an executive producer, not a producer.

Write to Armani Syed at armani.syed@time.com.