The Oscars Snub Women for Best Director; Plus More Snubs

Written by: Rachel Goodman – January 13th, 2020 3:13pm PT

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When it comes to awards season in Hollywood, there’s an ongoing joke that never seems to end with a punchline. That is, Hollywood’s inability, for the most part, to nominate anyone who isn’t male and white for the Best Director category. Unfortunately, as it was with the 2020 Golden Globe nominations, the Oscars have fared no differently. 

Little Women. Credit: Columbia Pictures

Perhaps the most notable female director snub is Greta Gerwig, the director of Little Women. Little Women was nominated in six other categories including Best Picture, Costume Design, Score, and Actress in a Leading and a Supporting Role. This seems to directly suggest the Academy’s inability to recognize a female director, even one who is at the helm of a critically acclaimed film. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Credit: Lilies Films

Other female snubs for Best Director include Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell). 

Issa Rae, who announced the nominations for the 2020 Oscars with John Cho in mid-January, clearly had her own opinions about the lack of females in the Best Director category.

“Congratulations to those men,” Rae added as an afterthought once she announced the men nominated. This resulted in a couple uncomfortable chuckles from the audience before Rae and Choe moved on to the next category. 

It’s important to note that the Academy has come under fire for generally snubbing anyone who isn’t male and white across all categories. 

Hustlers. Credit: Annapurna Pictures

Many fans are shocked that Jennifer Lopez, who earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her role in Hustlers, didn’t earn any recognition through the Academy. 

Comedian and author Lane Moore summed it up nicely in her tweet with: “The Oscars: a movie about a white guy who is mad about nothing, so he destroys everyone around him just because? WE LOVE IT! also The Oscars: a movie about woc who are mad about being marginalized/exploited/given no other options, so they hit back at people in power? WE HATE IT!”

Awkwafina, Lupita Nyong’o, Beyoncé, and Eddie Murphy are also part of this exclusion, leading some to bring back the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag on Twitter.

Despite most of the snubs seeming to be against females and people of color, the Oscars snubbed Taron Egerton as well. Egerton, who portrayed Elton John in Rocketman, won the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy, yet he did not receive any nomination for the Oscars.

Adam Sandler was also snubbed, despite his stellar performance in Uncut Gems, and the film The Farewell did not receive any nominations, period.

For more, be sure to tune in to the 92nd Academy Awards airing on February 9th, 2020, at 3:30 pm PST.

About The Author:

Rachel Goodman is a Los Angeles based actress, host, and writer originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. In college, Rachel wrote for the Penn State Abington Literary Review and was an editorialist for The Lion’s Roar and The Montgomery County Ticket.

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