40-Year-Old Virgin Director Offended By Academy's Treatment Of Barbie

40-Year-Old Virgin Director Offended By Academy's Treatment Of Barbie
Image credit: Warner Bros. Picture, Legion-Media

Judd Apatow says the Academy disrespected writers by pushing the movie into the Best Adapted Screenplay category.


  • After Barbie 's success, the film was submitted for consideration in the Best Original Screenplay category of the Academy Awards
  • However, Barbie was instead moved to the Best Adapted Screenplay category because it was based on pre-existing material
  • Judd Apatow, known for his many works in the comedy genre, believes it is an insult to the writers of the film

When the 2023 Barbie movie came out of nowhere and surprised everyone, making a massive impact on cinema and popular culture and becoming a huge box office hit, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before it would be nominated for the next Academy Awards.

However, when it was first announced that the film's creators wanted to submit Barbie for consideration in the Best Original Screenplay category, it caused a bit of controversy since it was based on pre-existing material.

Many fans rightly believed that the Academy would deny Barbie that category and instead push the film into Best Adapted Screenplay, just as it did with other similar projects like Logan (2017) or Joker ( 2019).

Not long ago, their suspicions were confirmed when it was revealed that the Academy had indeed voted for the film to appear in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, despite the original intent.

Judd Apatow Finds The Academy’s Stance on Barbie Insulting

40-Year-Old Virgin Director Offended By Academy's Treatment Of Barbie - image 1

But it seems that not everyone took such a decision lightly, as Judd Apatow, best known for directing 2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin and 2007's Knocked Up, called out the Academy for their treatment of Barbie, believing it to be an utter insult to the writers.

Apatow pointed out in his post on X (formerly Twitter) that there was no existing story for the script to be based on, so the writers did a tremendous amount of work that absolutely deserves to be considered an original creation.

While it must be pointed out that there have been a huge number of computer-animated films based on the iconic doll and aimed at children, to be fair, none of them came close to Greta Gerwig's film in literally every aspect.

The 2023 film was a huge leap forward, largely due to a well-written story and characters that appealed to the vast majority of the audience, leading to the film's resounding and well-deserved success.

Does Barbie Deserve To Be Called An Original Creation?

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Fans seem to be quite divided on the subject due to its very complicated nature, as it could be argued that both sides are right in their own way.

The characters of Barbie and Ken have existed in other media for years and have their established personalities, along with the whole concept of Barbieland, so audiences were already familiar with most aspects of the movie in one way or another.

On the other hand, shortly after the movie begins, the story takes a completely unique turn that has never been used in other media about the characters, taking the plot in a new direction and developing the once one-dimensional personalities of Barbie and Ken.

Furthermore, the aforementioned 2019's Joker took a similar approach, taking some familiar elements and mixing them in an entirely new way to create a story that has never been seen in the DC Comics (or at least not in the exact same way).

Considering all of the above, it all depends on how you look at the issue, because while Barbie might not have been as successful without the pre-existing material, it in no way undermines the amount of work the writers did to make the story memorable and compelling.

Sources: Judd Apatow on X, Reddit

What category do you think Barbie belongs in?