Warner Bros. Japan released a public statement today condemning the official U.S. Barbie X/Twitter account for engaging in a “series of inconsiderate reactions” in response to posts from Barbenheimer fans.
The statement was posted from the Japan account for the Barbie movie, where it has since racked up over 16 million views. According to Deadline, the translated document reads: “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. … 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. Warner Bros Japan.”
One response in particular was the source of mixed attention among Twitter users. An account called @DiscussingFilm unveiled a fan-made Barbenheimer poster by Steve Reeves that sees Margot Robbie’s Barbie smiling atop Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy’s shoulders — all while a nuclear explosion looms behind them. The U.S. Barbie movie Twitter account commented, “It’s going to be a summer to remember,” followed by a kiss-blowing emoji and two hearts.
It’s going to be a summer to remember ??
— Barbie Movie (@barbiethemovie) July 21, 2023
One outraged user quipped back with the same remark, accompanied by pictures documenting the devastating aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took place Aug. 6-9, 1945.
It’s going to be a summer to remember ?? pic.twitter.com/w8cyuTNFU0
— ぴんべぇ (@PINBE_) July 30, 2023
Over the last few days, #NoBarbenheimer has been a popular hashtag coined by Twitter users opposed to the meme-ification of Barbie, a heartfelt film with positive commentary on self-discovery and femininity, with its same-day release as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, a biopic about the creator of the atomic bomb. As more and more viral images emerge connecting the beloved children’s toy to weapons of mass destruction, users have continued to slam Barbie’s marketing team for what they see as condoning insensitive jokes that make light of a historic tragedy.
“The atomic mushroom cloud is a symbol of mass murder. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost in two bombing raids in August 1945,” a translation of one user’s comment reads. “It’s too bad that Barbie’s official account is replying favorably to it.”
キノコ雲がミー厶としてポップに消費されているのをみるのは気分が悪いですが、Barbieの公式アカウントがそれに対して好意的なリプライをしているのは酷すぎます。#NoBarbenheimer https://t.co/wvKZI2e7r9 pic.twitter.com/axJBFUM97u
— 500 (@p_fivehundred) July 30, 2023
The Barbie movie remains set for an Aug. 11 release in Japan — three weeks later than the U.S. Oppenheimer has yet to hit theaters in Japan, despite debuting worldwide on July 21. Universal, the film’s distributor, has still not confirmed or denied plans for the period piece to release in the country.
Warner Bros. U.S. did not immediately respond to IGN’s request for comment.