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Ryan Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars

Anna Maxwell discusses Ryan Gosling’s popular “I’m Just Ken” performance at the 96th Academy Awards.

The 2024 Oscars were held on Mar. 10 with many wins for popular content that audiences saw throughout the awards season. “Oppenheimer” took home seven Oscars, whereas “Barbie” only received one Oscar for Best Original Song, being Billie Eilish and Finneas’ “What Was I Made For?” Many fans were already upset about the lack of nominations for this movie about women’s empowerment, but after this initial lack of nominations, it was announced that Ryan Gosling would perform the song “I’m Just Ken.” 

Some fans were originally concerned about the performance considering that this song was about Ken wishing that Barbie would love him, and many thought it would be insensitive to perform this song in light of Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig being left without nominations. Fans and reporters commented about Robbie and Gerwig being effectively “snubbed” for nominations and were quick to point fingers toward the inherent patriarchy still dominating the Oscars when Gosling was still nominated for Best Supporting Actor. 

When this occurred, Robbie was quick to shut down any sense of sadness at her lack of a nomination. During an interview with Variety, Robbie expressed that she felt grateful for the impact the movie made, whether or not she received a nomination. She noted that it was more upsetting that Gerwig did not receive the nomination for her directing because “Barbie” was a “once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing.” Overall, she noted that the nominations the movie received were well-deserved and the fans and their love are the most rewarding part of the entire process. 

However, even with these comments, fans were asking Gosling to reject his nomination in protest. He did not give in and still performed on Sunday night alongside many other Kens from “Barbie” including Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Amir. The audience was extremely engaged and even some co-stars like America Ferrera, Margot Robbie and his former “La La Land” co-star Emma Stone were invited to sing into the microphone during Gosling’s performance. Despite fans being initially upset about the nomination, many were taken with Gosling’s dazzling and comedic performance of “I’m Just Ken” on the Oscar stage. 

Users on X applauded Gosling and his efforts, with posts saying that it was “genius” and used the caption “When you lose the Oscar but win the show.” They even said they hope “the kenergy never leaves Ryan Gosling.” Viewers were extremely pleased with the entire spectacle, even going as far as to note that he should be the next performer for the Super Bowl halftime show. In the end, although Gosling was shunned for his nomination, he came back better than ever with this performance of his iconic song from “Barbie.” 

This goes to show that although there is sometimes a well of hate in the world, beautiful and fun moments can still bring many people together no matter the circumstance. Gosling made a point to include his female co-stars in the singing and fun of his performance to bridge the divide and make sure everyone was enjoying their experience. Overall, fans could not have asked for a better live performance of “I’m Just Ken” at the 96th Academy Awards ceremony. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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