‘Barbie’ fans shocked to find out Ken has a last name

Fans of the Barbie film have been shocked to find out Ken actually has a last name.

In Greta Gerwig’s new movie, the real-life creator of the Barbie doll and co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler (played by Rhea Perlman), explains to Barbie (Margot Robbie) that she named the doll after her daughter Barbara.

Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts and the doll was launched in 1959. Her male counterpart, despite being described in the film as “just” Ken, actually has a full name, too.


It turns out that Ken’s name also has a real-world inspiration, and is named after Handler’s son, Kenneth. The Ken doll’s full name is Kenneth Sean Carson, but he didn’t come into Barbie’s life until 1961.

Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu
Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu attend ‘Barbie’ Canadian premiere on June 28, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario CREDIT Mathew Tsang/Getty Images

“His full name is KENNETH SEAN CARSON. I’m done for the day,” one surprised Twitter user shared.

“Just learned Ken of Ken & Barbie fame has a full name,” another added.

A third person said: “I was today years old when I learned that #barbie boo thang #ken actually has a full name.”

In the Barbie film Ken (Ryan Gosling) plays second fiddle to main character Barbie, and ahead of release this month a costume designer on the film revealed that Gosling was offered fewer clothing options as “no one cares about Ken”.


“No one cares about Ken, everybody just wants to play with Barbie. He matches Barbie and changes too but he has very, very, many less options,” Jacqueline Durran told British Vogue.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie
Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie (Photo by Greg Doherty/WireImage)

In other Ken news, Gosling recently gifted a guitar from the Barbie movie to BTS’ Jimin, after he “copied” one of his outfits.

The actor offered the acoustic guitar to the musician as a way of apologising after he “broke the Barbie Cardinal rule” and stole one of his outfits in the upcoming Greta Gerwig film.

In a four-star review, NME described Barbie as “fantastic fun” and a “side-splitting satire”. It added that the movie is “very, very funny”, but with an “unexpected subtlety, particularly during the tender moments which pack an emotional punch”.