Males Dominate Awards Season… Again

Lack of Diversity at the 77th Golden Globes and Oscars Nominations 2020 

2020 is the start of a new decade – one many hoped would spark change and inspiration. The 77th Golden Globes Awards honoured the best in film and American television of 2019 and was broadcasted live in Beverly Hills, California, on January 5th, 2020 on NBC. Comedian Ricky Gervais hosted and began the night insulting the crowd – it was clear the night would be eventful, to say the least.

Earlier in December, the nominees of the 77th Golden Globes were announced and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), responsible for the nominations, faced a huge backlash over their decisions online.

Take a look at the “Best Director – Motion Picture” category. The nominations include; Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Sam Mendes (“1917”), Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”), and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood”). Following last year’s trend, once again, the category does not include a single female director into the mix. In 2019, BBC noted that since 2000, the Golden Globes has nominated more than 100 men for the category, and only four women. It’s disappointing to hear that the number of nominated female directors has not increased this year.

The three other major categories; Best Screenplay and both Best Motion Picture categories also lacked women nominees. A strong female contender this year could have been Greta Gerwig, who directed “Little Women”. Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” (2017) won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in 2018, however, she was not nominated for her directing at the Golden Globes. She was, however, the fifth woman to ever be nominated for Best Director at the 2018 Oscars. With so much praise and success surrounding Gerwig’s name, many believe she was snubbed at the Golden Globes, once again.

Other female-directed films that have also gained a lot of attention and would have been a great nominees in any of the categories worth noting; Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy”, Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers”, and Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet”.

In response to the lack of female nominees in the hard-hitting categories, people have definitely spoken up. Har’el even tweeted herself, “These are not our people and they do not represent us. Do not look for justice in the awards system. We are building a new world”. She proceeds to name numerous female directors who have released films this year and deserve much more attention. “Keep fighting for more women and POC behind the camera by supporting their films. Don’t make your end game the political money that trades hands in the form of movie campaigns for people who can’t see us and recognize us… You are helping us get to new audiences and tell our stories. And for that it’s worth it all”.

Rebecca Goldman, Chief operating officer at the Times Up Foundation, has recently released a statement on the situation. “… Women – and especially women of colour – continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off… It’s an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable. TIME’S UP will continue to fight until talented female directors get the opportunities and recognition they deserve”.

The Oscar Nominations 2020 list was also released and again – the lack of diversity is unfortunately also a recurring theme. So much – that in 2015, the viral #OscarsSoWhite has now upgraded to #OscarsSoWhiterAndWithMoreMen. It’s disappointing to say that the situation has not yet been improved in the last five years.

While actress Awkwafina made history as the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical this year, she was snubbed at the Oscars and was not given a nomination. If she had been nominated, she would have been the first Asian American to be nominated in the Best Actress category since 1935. Within that same category, Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lopez were also both left out.

What happened at the Golden Globes was a repeat offender at the Oscars – there were no women nominated for Best Director. Again. With such a giant pool of contenders – how does this keep happening?

We need more representation, more recognition and a lot more respect for diversity in Hollywood.