Barbie Production Designer Walks Back Claims The Movie Caused An International Pink Paint Shortage After Her Comments Went Viral

Barbie Production Designer Walks Back Claims The Movie Caused An International Pink Paint Shortage After Her Comments Went Viral

Unlike many blockbuster 2023 new movie releases, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie is no CGI fest. The movie had its production designer and set decorator really painting all the hot pink of Barbie Land, and as one can imagine, yes, it required a lot of cans of pink paint to do so. The production designer Sarah Greenwood even previously said “the world ran out of pink” as a result of bringing the plastic world to life. But, as Greenwood has now clarified, Barbie is not responsible for an international pink paint shortage as an influx of headlines previously claimed. 

Greenwood is now walking back on her comments about the creation of Barbie Land at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in England after she went viral for talking about an international pink paint shortage. Here’s what she had to say: 

Yes, we found this color after lots of investigation into the perfect pink. So we go to Rosco, this amazing film company that makes this beautiful pigment … but of course, nobody was using pink until we came along. And so therefore, there wasn’t enough pink paint. We said, ‘Oh, we want 200 liters of your pure pigment.’... And then everybody pulled together and we found pink paint in every sort of backyard workshop. We did get there in the end. But no, we didn’t cause the world to run out of pink paint. There wasn't enough in the first place.

While speaking to Yahoo! Entertainment, Greenwood shared that Barbie didn’t help create the shortage because it was already happening as the production was underway. Barbie’s set decorator also spoke on the subject, saying that nobody had “ever asked” for that much of the paint shade at one time, so it was kind of hard to come by. In the end, they were able to make do and bring to life the film’s practically built Barbie Land set that sees Margot Robbie and the rest of the Barbie cast playing, fighting and singing within. 

Margot Robbie's Barbie waving to Barbie World

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Greenwood’s previous comments led to numerous outlets investigating into the subject, including Smithsonian Magazine, which echoed the production designer’s prior sentiments in June that Rosco was dealing with supply chain issues before Barbie came along. This included through a February 2021 deep freeze in Texas that damaged some of the paint company’s materials used to make the paint. The company’s vice president of marketing and digital experience Lauren Proud said that “there was this shortage and then we gave [Barbie] everything we could,” along with adding the movie cannot “claim credit.” 

The Barbie Land set was inspired by the midcentury modernism designs found in Palm Springs, California, along with a flurry of Barbie Dreamhouses over the years. In the new interview, Spencer added that it was important to writer/director Greta Gerwig and the other filmmakers that audiences “had to believe” Barbie Land was real. In order to do that, the production went bananas with the pink paint, of course. 

You can relive Barbie’s practical sets at home as the movie is now available to rent and buy. It is also expected to arrive to those with an Max subscription next in the near future, but a release date has not been set.