Fact Check

Did Matt Gaetz's Wife Call for Boycott of 'Barbie' After Watching the Movie?

Ginger Luckey Gaetz tweeted her opinion on the film in July 2023, calling it a “let down."

Published Jul 20, 2023

 (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Claim:
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz’s wife, Ginger Luckey Gaetz, called for a boycott of the "Barbie" film in a tweet on July 18, 2023.
Context

While she recommended “sticking to getting outfit inspiration and skipping the theater” in her tweet, she did not call for a boycott of Barbie, the doll, as some headlines seemed to imply.

In July 2023, the highly anticipated "Barbie" movie premiered. Among the people who went to see the film at an early screening was Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and his wife, Ginger Luckey Gaetz. And she did not love it.

She tweeted her criticism, which led to news headlines like, "Matt Gaetz's wife calls for Barbie boycott while posting photos of her posing in pink on red carpet." The Daily Mail wrote, "Rep. Matt Gaetz's wife calls for Barbie BOYCOTT over its disappointing 'feminine empowerment', lack of 'faith and family' and Ken's 'low T' - as poor reviews for the movie flood in." 

While the headlines are slightly misleading and/or ambiguous, she was calling for a boycott of the movie, not the doll. 

Luckey Gaetz tweeted about how the movie disappointed her. She wrote: "Thinking about watching the Barbie movie? I'd recommend sticking to getting outfit inspiration and skipping the theater. Here's why: The Barbie I grew up with was a representation of limitless possibilities, embracing diverse careers and feminine empowerment. The 2023 Barbie movie, unfortunately, neglects to address any notion of faith or family, and tries to normalize the idea that men and women can't collaborate positively (yuck)."

See her full tweet below: 

She wrote in a follow-up tweet, "Let me be clear: BARBIE, the iconic doll, should NOT be boycotted. The 2023 Barbie movie, however, completely missed an opportunity and was everything BUT female empowerment (especially from the Kens)." She called for the movie to be "boycotted" during an interview with Steve Bannon, former U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser:

In the interview, she told Bannon she believed, "This is absolutely not a kid-appropriate film [...] Instead of empowering the other Barbies, they just look at each other and say, 'It is just too much to be a woman, and we should lower our standards.' And that is not the Barbie I grew up with. [...] I want to make it clear, I am not canceling the iconic Barbie doll. I think the movie should be boycotted." 

Rep. Gaetz has been under fire in recent years over a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that looked into whether he had crossed state or international borders to have sex with underage girls. In February 2023, the investigation was dropped without any charges filed, according to Gaetz's lawyers. 

Given that Luckey Gaetz spoke about boycotting the movie in an interview, we rate this claim as "True." 

Sources

"Aspen Diary: Among the Optimists." Semafor. 18 July 2023, https://www.semafor.com/article/07/18/2023/aspen-diary-2023. Accessed 20 July 2023.

Crilly, Rob. "Gaetz's Wife Calls for Barbie Boycott - after Attending Embassy Party." Mail Online, 19 July 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12312937/Matt-Gaetzs-wife-calls-Barbie-boycott-attending-British-embassys-pink-carpet-premiere-Congressmans-wife-criticizes-Kens-low-T-says-film-NOT-doll-grew-with.html. Accessed 20 July 2023.

Matt Gaetz's Wife Calls for Barbie Boycott While Posting Photos of Her Posing in Pink on Red Carpet | The Independent. 20 July 2023, https://web.archive.org/web/20230720191806/https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/matt-gaetz-wife-ginger-barbie-boycott-b2378076.html. Accessed 20 July 2023.

"Sex-Trafficking Investigation into Republican Matt Gaetz Dropped." BBC News, 15 Feb. 2023. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64644518. Accessed 20 July 2023.
 

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.