The list of nominees for the 2020 Oscars were released Monday morning, revealing that the five nominees for the category of “Best Director” were all males. Following its counterparts at the Golden Globes and the Director’s Guild of America, no women were nominated for the role.
The nominees for this year are Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Notably left out were Lulu Wang (the Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy).
Gerwig, who directed this year’s Little Women, stands as one of only five women to be nominated for best director in the Oscar’s 92 year history. She had originally been nominated in 2018 for Lady Bird. If she had been nominated for this year’s award, she would have been the first female director to be nominated twice.
The announcement of this years nominees comes after backlash against the Golden Globes for its lack of female directing nominees, and has left many baffled. According to a USC study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the amount of female directors in the top grossing films spiked to a 13-year high, jumping to 10.6 percent from 2018’s 4.5 percent.
So, how come no women directors were nominated? The answer male fall to the male academy voters. In the case of Little Women, awards insiders report that the film had not been seen by many of the male academy voters. However, despite this fact, Little Women still received five other nominations, so the argument holds little sway in the directing snub.
On a positive note, women fared better in the non-fiction category. Honeyland, which was co-directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, is up for best international feature and documentary. In the documentary category, American Factory, Edge of Democracy, and For Sama, all of which have female directors, are up for nominations.