Warner Bros. Japan Apologizes for ‘Barbenheimer’ Meme That Celebrates the Bomb

Warner Bros. Japan Apologizes for ‘Barbenheimer’ Meme That Celebrates the Bomb

Barbenheimer finally has a political controversy that has to do with nuclear bombs instead of pink dolls.

While alt-right demagogues like Ben Shapiro and Elon Musk attack Greta Gerwig’s kids movie about anthropomorphic toys for its triggering depictions of men, Warner Bros. Japan now faces a controversy over a fan-made mash-up poster for the queen and king of the box office that shows J. Robert Oppenheimer walking away from a giant explosion with Barbie perched on his bicep and posing for the photo with a signature smile spread across her face. On July 11th, the Twitter account @DiscussingFilm posted the meme mocked up by artist Steve Reeves, and the official Barbie page soon replied to the image with the controversial comment, “It’s going to be a summer to remember.”

With the 78th anniversary of the first nuclear bomb dropping on Hiroshima coming up this Sunday, many social media users in Japan have objected to the horrific and unintentional implications of Margot Robbie making summer memories with the obliteration of over 100,000 civilians. This Barbie needs a new brand manager.

“We take this situation very seriously and are requesting the U.S. headquarters to take appropriate measures,” Warner Bros. Japan wrote in a statement directed toward Japanese citizens who were outraged by the insensitivity of the American office’s promotional tweet. “We apologize to those who were offended by this series of inconsiderate reactions.” Despite Warner Bros. Japan’s objections, the offending tweet in question remains on the official Barbie movie page and the American branch has yet to comment on the issue.

Many Japanese moviegoers are now calling for a boycott of the Barbie premiere on August 11th, accusing the production company of “actively validating and encouraging such memes” as the offending poster. Obviously, Oppenheimer has no plans for a release in the Land of the Rising Sun — at least Warner Bros. has gotten that part right.

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