When the knives come out for Barbie, Mark Ronson is up for a fight.
The Oscar, Grammy and Brit Award-winning record producer and artist oversaw Barbie: The Album, which, like the feature film it’s paired with, is a global smash hit.
So when the acerbic comedian and TV host Bill Maher gave the film a verbal kicking, describing it as “preachy, man-hating and a #ZombieLie,” Ronson wasn’t having any of it.
“We come to this place for magic,” Ronson begins a tweet, aping the opener in Nicole Kidman’s memorable commercial. “We come to AMC theaters to laugh, to cry, to care… and to furiously google ‘mattel board configuration’ while others are trying to enjoy a f***ing magnificent comedy.”
Ronson knows his stuff. He won the Brit Award in 2008 for best male artist, he collected an Oscar in 2019 for best original song (“Shallow”), and his trophy cabinet to-date includes a Golden Globe and seven Grammys.
The U.S.-based, London-born music man is the executive producer for Barbie: The Album, which includes the popular cuts “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice with Aqua; Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken”; and Dua Lipa’s “Dance The Night,” which he co-produced with Andrew Wyatt and the Picard Brothers.
His return of serve follows Maher’s damning assessment of the pop-culture smash. “OK, ‘Barbie’: I was hoping it wouldn’t be preachy, man-hating, and a #ZombieLie – alas, it was all three,” Maher wrote, joining the likes of Elon Musk and Ben Shapiro, who’ve given the film a thumbs down.
“What is a Zombie Lie?,” Maher continues. “Something that never was true, but certain people refuse to stop saying it (tax cuts for the rich increase revenues, e.g.); OR something that USED to be true but no longer is, but certain people pretend it’s still true. ‘Barbie’ is this kind of #ZombieLie.”
Ronson has also used his Twitter account to tease Shapiro, all in the name of Barbie.
Whether Barbie is a hit or miss with Maher, won’t make much difference to the filmmakers, Warner Bros. and Mattel. The film has racked up more than $459 million in North America and passed $1 billion globally. In doing so, Barbie becomes the first live-action film in history that’s directed by a woman solo to join the global box-office billion dollar club, according to The Hollywood Reporter.