News Update


Warner Bros. apologizes for responding to atomic bomb memes in the Barbie film

Warner Bros. has apologized after an official Barbie Movie account responded to Barbenheimer memes with images of atomic bombs.

Margot Robbie was photographed with a mushroom cloud haircut. “This Ken is a stylist,” said the official Barbie movie account.

Barbie will be released in Japan on August 11, five days after the 78th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb catastrophe.

The hashtag #NoBarbenheimer has been trending.

Other meme photos that upset Japanese social media users included one depicting Cillian Murphy, who played Robert Oppenheimer – renowned as the “father of the atomic bomb” – carrying Ms Robbie on his shoulder through a burning city. “It’s going to be a summer to remember,” said the official Barbie movie account.

Warner Bros Japan said in a statement issued on its own Barbie account that it was “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 regrets its recent insensitive social media engagement,” its US headquarters informed the BBC a day later. “The studio sincerely apologizes.”

Twitter has since added community remarks to original postings to highlight the historical context of the atomic bomb bombings on Japan.

The published death figures are estimations, however it is estimated that approximately 140,000 of Hiroshima’s 350,000 people were killed in the 6 August 1945 detonation. Three days later, Nagasaki was bombed, killing at least 74,000 people.

Thousands more individuals died from radiation sickness in the years that followed as a result of the radiation produced by the bombs.

“My grandfather was in Hiroshima until a few days before the atomic bomb was dropped,” one social media user wrote. Many children the age of Barbie dolls were among those who died as a result of the mushroom cloud.”


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