Warner Bros. Japan released a statement on the country’s official “Barbie” Twitter account criticizing the studio’s U.S. branch for feeding into the “Barbenheimer” craze on social media. The “Barbie” U.S. Twitter account has positively interacted with some fan posts about “Barbenheimer,” which refers to the dual summer releases of Universal’s “Oppenheimer” and Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” movies. Both movies were released on July 21 and became box office juggernauts. Together, they boosted the box office to its fourth highest-grossing weekend in history during their debut outings.
“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 in a statement published on the “Barbie” Japan Twitter profile. “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.”
Warner Bros. had no comment.
Responding to one “Barbenheimer” fan art poster which depicts Margot Robbie’s Barbie sitting on the shoulders of Cillian Murphy’s J. Robert Oppenheimer in front of a fiery atomic mushroom cloud, the “Barbie” U.S. Twitter account wrote, “It’s going to be a summer to remember.” Twitter, now called X, added a community note to the post explaining the historical context of the mushroom cloud image.
“At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945 (Showa 20), an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima for the first time in human history,” the Twitter note reads. “The particular nature of the damage caused by the atomic bombs is that mass destruction and mass murder occurred instantaneously and indiscriminately.”
The “Barbenheimer” craze has drawn criticism in Japan for making light of the mass destruction caused by the atomic bombs. The hashtag #NoBarbenheimer has trended in the country in recent days.
“Oppenheimer” is now playing in theaters in North America and many international territories. But it has not been released in Japan and no release date has yet been determined.