Oscars 2019: Yet Again, No Female Directors Nominated

The #MeToo Movement has been a hurricane in Hollywood. Famous actresses came forward, sharing their stories of abuse by powerful men in the industry, inspiring other women nationwide to do the same.

Issues of gender inequality, especially in Hollywood, which were once a taboo topic, have finally gained center stage. Actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Robin Wright, and Charlize Theron have all spoken up about being paid less than their male co-stars. Still, in spite of all of the noise, we still have a very long way to go.

Tonight, viewers worldwide will tune in to watch the Academy Awards, where actresses, actors, directors, cinematographers and other industry giants will be celebrated for their achievements in film. In the directorial category, however, one of the most important ones, there are no women nominated.

This is not surprising. According to Women and Hollywood, Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director, and only five other women have been nominated in this category. 2019 marks the 91st edition of the Academy Awards.

According to the 2019 UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report, even though women’s share of directors for top films nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017, it remains incredibly low, at only 12.6%. “Women remained severely underrepresented in this employment arena and would have to multiply their 2017 share by four to reach parity with men,” said the report.

This issue is not exclusive to directors. Data presented by Woman and Hollywood states that out of the top 100 grossing films of 2018, only 15% of writers were women, 3% of cinematographers, 18% of producers, 18% of executive producers and 14% of editors.

Today, we are going to see a parade of gorgeous gowns and opulent jewelry. Issues surrounding the #MeTooMovement will most likely be brought up on the red carpet. Still, we must not forget that merely raising awareness does not imply systemic change. The #MeTooMovement has been successful in stirring up the pot. But will it successfully change the system? Only time will tell. For now, it seems that there is still a long way ahead.

By Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo