Warner Bros. Apologizes For Controversial ‘Barbie’ & ‘Oppenheimer’ Tweets

I am become Ken.

Barbie Margot Robbie J Robert Oppenheimer Cillian Murpy Barbenheimer

The “Barbenheimer” craze has taken social media by storm with fans celebrating the release of Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same weekend. However, it seems as though not everyone enjoys the double feature, leading to Warner Bros. issuing an apology.

The key to the “Barbenheimer” fad was the contrast between two very quality films: with Barbie being a bright pink romp full of horses and Mojo Dojo Casa Houses and Oppenheimer being a reflection on one of the darkest moments of the second World War with the invention of the atomic bomb. While American fans have enjoyed the memes, Japanese audiences have taken offense due to how close to home the tragedies were. This led to Warner Bros. Japan releasing an apology after its U.S. counterpart engaged with the trend online.

“We consider it extremely regrettable that the official account of the American headquarters for the movie ‘Barbie’ reacted to the social media postings of ‘Barbenheimer’ fans,” Warner Bros. Japan wrote, translated by Toonado. “We take this situation very seriously. We are asking the U.S. headquarters to take appropriate action. We apologize to those who were offended by this series of inconsiderate reactions.”

Any trend balancing the humor of Barbie and the seriousness of Oppenheimer is definitely one that should be treaded lightly. Sadly, it seems as though Warner Bros. crossed that line with its “Barbenheimer” posts, at least to Japanese audiences. Following this apology, Warner Bros. America released its own statement in an email to Variety:

“Warner Brothers regrets its recent insensitive social media engagement,” Warner Bros. told Variety. “The studio offers a sincere apology.”

It’s unclear and unlikely that this apology reaches the Japanese audience, especially given Warner Bros. Japan has already released its statement. However, it seems as though this will be a lesson going forward on studios cashing in on social media trends for movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Who was J. Robert Oppenheimer?

J. Robert Oppenheimer was a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project for the United States during World War II, which produced the first nuclear weapons. Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, where the first atomic bombs were designed.

Oppenheimer is an IMAX®-shot epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it,” according to an official synopsis from Universal. In addition to directing the movie, Christopher Nolan also wrote its screenplay and served as a producer alongside Emma Thomas and Charles Roven.

The star-studded cast of Oppenheimer also includes Benny Safdie, Michael Angarano, Josh Hartnett, Dane DeHaan, Dylan Arnold, David Krumholtz, Alden Ehrenreich, Matthew Modine, Jack Quaid, David Dastmalchian, Jason Clarke, Josh Peck, Devon Bostick, Alex Wolff, Tony Goldwyn, Scott Grimes, Josh Zuckerman, James D’Arcy, Matthias Schweighöfer, Gary Oldman, Olivia Thirlby and Casey Affleck. The film released on July 21, 2023.

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