Despite an outspoken contingent of conservatives bashing the Barbie movie over a controversial map, Fox News put up a graphic showing where the flick is trending — revealing the movie is quite popular in red states.
The panel on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom were discussing the big box office weekend when co-host Dana Perino then asked for a map to be displayed, comparing where Oppenheimer and Barbie — represented respectively by blue and pink — were trending more in the United States. The map showed the southern half of the US was blanketed in pink.
“I don’t know what’s going on down South,” Ms Perino said. “They like this Barbie movie a lot.”
“A little bit more fun down South, maybe open to the experience,” Fox News’ The Big Money Show host Taylor Riggs said.
Bill Hemmer then asked for the map to be pulled up again, before saying, “Barbie is really big in the red states. And Oppenheimer is really big in the blue states.” He added an exasperated, “What’s going on?”
“I think people in the South like to party,” political commentator Kennedy tried to explain. “And people in the North, you know. They maybe have a little bit of intellectual guilt about the way Western civilization has unfolded.”
Perino chimed in, suggesting it could be the heat wave in the southern states that is driving crowds inside to the cool movie theatres.
The network showcased an interesting trend that contradicts a lot of the Barbie backlash from conservatives. The heart of the criticism regards a world map featuring a contested area in the South China Sea.
Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, for the second time, accused the Barbie movie of pushing “Chinese communist propaganda.” The Texas republican was referring to a “nine-dash line” used on the map, depicting what China claims is its territory within the South China Sea.
On the same token, Vietnam said it would ban the movie from being released in the country due to the map.
Other conservatives have criticised the movie for other reasons. Right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted: “My producers dragged me to see ‘Barbie’ and it was one of the most woke movies I have ever seen.”
He added, “My full review of this flaming garbage heap of a film will be out on my YouTube channel tomorrow at 10am ET.” (He did indeed post a video of himself setting Barbie dolls ablaze in a trash can.)
The wife of Florida Republican Rep Matt Gaetz, Ginger Gaetz, also criticised the movie, tweeting: “Thinking about watching the Barbie movie? I’d recommend sticking to getting outfit inspiration and skipping the theater.”
The Independent has reached out to Fox News for comment.
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