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Japanese Users Respond with Memes, Sharing Their Take on 9/11

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Japanese Social Media Users React to Barbenheimer Phenomenon

Japanese social media users lashed out at the Barbenheimer phenomenon, creating memes mocking the 9/11 terrorist attacks in response to the juxtaposition of Barbie with images of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the movie poster mashup.


It all started when the official X account for the upcoming ‘Barbie’ film made a seemingly harmless comment according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comment stated ‘It’s going to be a summer to remember’ beneath a movie poster collage that combined the toy-inspired flick with ‘Oppenheimer’. ‘Oppenheimer’ is a film portraying the making of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, resulting in the loss of nearly 200,000 Japanese lives.

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The poster features Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer holding Margot Robbie’s Barbie in front of a fiery mushroom cloud. It quickly garnered attention, but not the kind the creators expected. Japanese X users were deeply offended by the juxtaposition of such a sensitive historical event with a beloved toy character. They did not like Barbenheimer.


The hashtag ‘NoBarbenheimer’ started trending on social media. Japanese users expressed their outrage at the lack of sensitivity, especially from some American social media users. The memes featured images of the Twin Towers emitting pink smoke, along with captions expressing their disdain for the tasteless ‘Barbenheimer’ trend.


The Barbenheimer clash sadly coincides with the upcoming anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, respectively. The timing added an extra layer of emotional sensitivity to the already heated situation, creating even more anger among Japanese users.


As the global feud continues, it serves as a stark reminder that jokes about sensitive topics can have dire consequences, often leading to intense emotions and leaving lasting scars. Perhaps this serves as an opportunity for both sides to engage in meaningful dialogue and learn from each other’s perspectives, promoting empathy and understanding across cultural boundaries.

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