Issa Rae Calls Out Oscars For Snubbing Women In Best Director Category

Carla Harmon
January 14, 2020

Thankfully, Little Women and Harriet received well-deserved nominations in other categories this year, but that makes their Best Director snubs even more glaring.

In the history of the Academy Awards, only five female directors have managed to get a nod in the Directing category. And there are men who have confessed, on social media and elsewhere, that they sobbed through the whole thing.

Alongside Sir Sam Mendes, who earned a best director nod for war epic 1917, the nominees are Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time. After reading the nominees, the masterfully shade-filled Rae added, "Congratulations to those men".


Rae's remark about the nominees resembles a comment from Natalie Portman in 2018. At the 2018 Golden Globes, Portman announced the Best Director category.

The nominees for the award are majority white and all-male.

No women have been nominated in the category this year.


However, she was really happy that the movie has been nominated in other major categories like Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay.

"Little Women" received six nominations overall, including for best picture. Lulu Wang, the director of "The Farewell", was also thought to have a shot at a nomination. In the ceremony's 90 years of existence, the Academy has only nominated five female directors and awarded one: Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. Saoirse Ronan is referencing Greta Gerwig's movies Little Women and Lady Bird, both of which she starred in. The two women found it unjust that Gerwig did not receive the Best Director nomination. "I hope when she makes her next ideal movie, she gets recognized for everything because I think she is one of the most important filmmakers of our time", Ronan said. It's just completely underlining how important this film is, and how the themes are still apparent now. "If we think about it like that, it's a weird blessing in disguise and it's only highlighting the importance of this story and the importance of men and women to go and watch it", Pugh said. Netflix went into the recent Golden Globes with 34 nominations, only to walk away nearly empty-handed after Dern was the only victor, for Marriage Story. "She made a film about women working and their relationship with money and their relationship with working in a man's world". Also snubbed? Lorene Scafaria for Hustlers, Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim and Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Good movies are overlooked by awards bodies all the time, but accolades still serve as a kind of advertising to the public.


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