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Michelle Yeoh Says Oscar Snubs Happen and ‘There’s No Guarantee’ You Get Nominated Amid ‘Barbie’ Controversy: ‘It’s So Competitive Out There’

The debate around Oscar snubs exploded following the announcement of the 2024 Academy Award nominations, which now infamously excluded “Barbie” filmmaker Greta Gerwig and star Margot Robbie from the best director and actress races. Michelle Yeoh, who won the best actress Oscar last year for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” was asked to weigh in on the controversy during a recent interview on “Today.”

“Joy and disappointment, it seems to go hand in hand,” Yeoh said. “There’s not enough nominations to go around. The only take is it’s so competitive out there and there’s no guarantee because you’re not the only voter. It’s widespread. Thank god the movie got nominated for best picture!”

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“You do think: how do you get nominated for best picture but not best director? But it happens,” Yeoh added. “And I’m sorry it happened to them because it’s obviously one of the most successful and beloved movies. Look at the box office.”

The “Barbie” snubs were criticized by the film’s two acting Oscar nominees, Ryan Gosling and America Ferrara. The latter told Variety that it was “incredibly disappointing” to see Gerwig and Robbie’s names missing from the best director and best actress categories.

“Greta has done just about everything that a director could do to deserve it,” Ferrera explained. “Creating this world, and taking something that didn’t have inherent value to most people and making it a global phenomenon. It feels disappointing to not see her on that list.”

Gosling added in his own statement: “To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement. Against all odds with nothing but a couple of soulless, scantily clad, and thankfully crotchless dolls, they made us laugh, they broke our hearts, they pushed the culture and they made history. Their work should be recognized along with the other very deserving nominees.”

Even Hillary Clinton weighed in on the snubs, sending Gerwig and Robbie a message over X that read: “While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you. You’re both so much more than Kenough.”

As the Oscar snubs controversy intensified online, EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg attempted to shut down the backlash by telling moviegoers that “snubs” don’t exist. She said on “The View” that “everybody doesn’t win” and “you don’t get everything you want to get.”

“There are no snubs,” she said. “That’s what you have to keep in mind: Not everybody gets a prize, and it is subjective. Movies are subjective. The movies you love may not be loved by the people who are voting.”

Barbie” earned a total of eight nominations, including best picture, and Gerwig is a nominee for screenwriting and so is Robbie as one of the film’s producers. The duo weren’t the only Oscar snubs that got people talking. Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” picked up 10 Oscar nominations and acting bids for Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro. Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio failed to land in the best actor race.

“He went so far into the complexities and contradictions of a man who was so weak, so malleable, who did such unspeakable things, but who also truly loved his wife,” Scorsese told Variety while addressing DiCaprio’s snub. “Leo fearlessly created a true Everyman … an Everyman that people just don’t want to acknowledge. So that will endure.”

Watch Yeoh’s full interview on “Today” in the video below.

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