After a social media storm swirled in Japan after the U.S. social media accounts for the Barbie movie acknowledged the “Barbenheimer” mashup memes, Warner Bros. has released an official statement apologizing for participating in the viral trend.
Warner Bros. Japan took to its own Japanese-language Barbie account on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, yesterday, after “#NoBarbenheimer” began trending in Japan on the platform over the weekend, filled with anger that the official Barbie account in the US had begun engaging with tweets discussing the dual Barbie/Oppenheimer release in many parts of the world—and the litany of memes and fan art that had been made to celebrate.
“We find the reaction to this fan-driven movement from the official American account for the movie Barbie to be extremely regrettable,” Warner Bros. Japan’s statement read in part. “We take this very seriously and are asking the American head office to take appropriate action.”
Warner Bros. U.S. has now started taking that action. One of the most prominent flashpoints for Japanese netizen’s ire—a tweet from the Barbie movie’s U.S. account that replied to a piece of Barbenheimer fan art shared by the social media entertainment account Discussing Film with “It’s going to be a summer to remember ??” has now been deleted. Previously, the post had been reported enough to the platform to receive a community note attached to it, which noted the time and date the atom bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, and the lingering ramifications of the use of nuclear weapons in World War II.
“Warner Brothers regrets its recent insensitive social media engagement,” the studio said in a statement provided to io9 about WB Japan’s requests. “The studio offers a sincere apology.”
Barbie is still currently scheduled for an August 11 release in Japan.
Japanese translation provided by Alex Romero.
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