Gen Z ‘Barbie’ fans slammed for calling Ryan Gosling ‘old’

He’s plastic, and according to Gen Z, he’s not so fantastic. 

Social media is abuzz about the new “Barbie” movie trailer starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling – but Gen Z fans aren’t impressed with Gosling as Ken. 

“[R]yan gosling is too old to be playing ken i’m sorry his wrinkles are taking me out of the experience,” one fan tweeted

“I like Ryan Gosling but idk [I don’t know] why he looks a little too old and dry. Not sure if it’s because of the hair or tan but he needed some moisturizer,” another complained

Another fan had scathing commentary about “The Notebook” and the “Drive” star’s appearance. “Ryan gosling is too ugly and too old to be playing ken, they should’ve casted henry cavill or chris evans bye,” they wrote

Another fan tentatively wondered if voicing this opinion would get them canceled. “Heeeey so um will saying ‘ryan gosling looks too old to be playing ken’ get somebody cancelled???? asking for a friend,” they tweeted.

One fan on TikTok even called Gosling, “Grandpa Ken.”

Gosling is 42 while Robbie is 32. 

The “Barbie” movie’s tone looks like it will lean towards comedy and absurdity, with the trailer highlighting how Barbie and Ken don’t know what sex is. In the trailer, when Gosling’s Ken suggests that he and Margot’s Barbie go home together because they are “girlfriend and boyfriend,” she looks confused, asking what they would do. Ken pauses and replies, “I’m actually not sure.” 

The Greta Gerwig movie’s marketing is also leaning into the running gag that Barbie dolls have a wide range of occupations such as a president and a doctor, while Ken dolls are always “just Ken,” which has spawned countless memes.

Ryan Gosling with his shirt open, holding a surfboard.
Ryan Gosling as Ken in “Barbie.”
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Ryan Gosling holding roller blades sitting in the back of a pink car while Margot Robbie drives.
Ryan Gosling as Ken and Margot Robbie as Barbie in “Barbie.”
Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Plenty of staunch Gosling defenders took up arms against Gen Z’s notion that he’s too “old” and “wrinkled” to play Ken.

“i would still choose 96 year old haggard ryan gosling as ken over anyone else,” one fan proclaimed

“Gen Z saying Ryan Gosling is too old to be Ken and calling him ugly ?? have y’all lost your minds,” another fan slammed

“i genuinely don’t think ryan gosling is ugly at all and that’s why all this discourse is making me mad,” another fan fumed. “like he’s kinda old looking, but ugly he is NOT. you guys are LYING.”

Ryan Gosling smiling with his shirt open, showing his abs.
Ryan Gosling as Ken in the “Barbie” movie has stirred social media controversy.
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros

Kingsley Ben-Adir Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa in "Barbie" wearing campy '80s workout gear, striking poses like they're fighting.
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling and Ncuti Gatwa in “Barbie.”
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Other fans dug into the Barbie doll lore to explain why Gosling is the right Ken. 

“I don’t understand how people are saying Ryan Gosling looks too old in the Barbie movie like … this is a 50-year-old man,” one fan said, sharing an image of a Ken doll. 

Another fan had an in-universe explanation: “…. i don’t get the ryan gosling is too old thing. one of the running jokes in dreamhouse was that barbie is an older woman but no one knew how old,” they wrote, referring to the animated web series, “Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse” and its Netflix continuation, “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures.”

“‘Ryan Gosling is too old for ken,’ Ryan Gosling has been on this earth for less time then the character of ken has been in existence do you hear yourselves,” another fan fumed, referring to the fact that the Ken doll has existed since 1961. 

“Barbie” hits theaters on July 21. 

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