The casting of Amy Schumer in Sony’s upcoming Barbie movie — the first live-action adaptation of the famed Mattel doll — created an uproar when it was first announced, with an online feeding frenzy focusing on Schumer’s weight and on “fat shaming” on social media. But now that Schumer has reportedly dropped out of the project, the reason is something much more mundane: scheduling conflicts.
“The big screen adaptation of Mattel’s iconic toy line was expected to start production this summer on June 23, but Schumer’s busy schedule includes a lengthy promotional tour for her new Fox comedy ‘Snatched,’ which opens in May, as well as an upcoming shoot for Rebecca Miller’s ‘She Came to Me’ opposite Steve Carell,” Variety reports.
The report adds: “Sony needed to stick to its June 29, 2018, release date since Mattel already has merchandise and product cycles in motion — shifting the production to accommodate Schumer would have put on a strain on other partners on the film, according to insiders.”
In a statement, Schumer said: “Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts. The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I’m bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen.”
A spokesperson for Sony confirmed the news in a statement, saying: “We respect and support Amy’s decision. We look forward to bringing Barbie to the world and sharing updates on casting and filmmakers soon.”
Deadline.com reported back in December that the choice of Schumer, who has a larger body type than the perpetually slim Barbie, was a good fit given the movie’s concept.
“Aside from the fact that she has Barbie hair, Schumer’s growing stature as a role model for female empowerment fits perfectly with how the film will exploit Barbie’s evolution into dolls of different sizes and shapes,” Deadline reported at the time.
The Deadline report added: “Schumer will play a character who lives in Barbieland, among all of the various Barbie characters beloved by doll collectors (there are dolls covering over 180 careers). In a fish-out-of-water story reminiscent of films like ‘Splash’ and ‘Big,’ Schumer’s Barbie gets kicked out, basically because she’s not perfect enough, is a bit eccentric and doesn’t quite fit the mold. She then goes on an adventure in the real world and by the time she returns to Barbieland to save it, she has gained the realization that perfection comes on the inside, not the outside, and that the key to happiness is belief in oneself, free of the obligation to adhere to some unattainable standard of perfection.”
Once the online fat shaming cranked up, Schumer took to Instagram to shout down the haters. The actress posted a photo of herself in a bathing suit (you can see it below) along with a lengthy message in which she defended her decision to play Barbie.
“Very very honored to be nominated for 2 Grammys and to be considered to play an important and evolving icon,” Schumer wrote at the time. “Is it fat shaming if you know you’re not fat and have zero shame in your game? I don’t think so. I am strong and proud of how I live my life and say what I mean and fight for what I believe in and I have a blast doing it with the people I love. Where’s the shame? It’s not there. It’s an illusion. When I look in the mirror I know who I am. Im a great friend, sister, daughter and girlfriend. I’m a badass comic headlining arenas all over the world and making tv and movies and writing books where I lay it all out there and I’m fearless like you can be. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support and again my deepest sympathy goes out to the trolls who are in more pain than we will ever understand. I want to thank them for making it so evident that I am a great choice. It’s that kind of response that let’s you know something’s wrong with our culture and we all need to work together to change it.”
Amy Schumer (Instagram post from December 2016)