4 days ago
There's not a single woman nominated for director this year.
The organization has diversified its ranks in terms of race and gender, but when it comes to its biggest awards — best picture, directing, screenplay — it's still a boys' club.
Remember the Year of the Woman? Of course you don't, because there've been so many, not just in Hollywood but in the country at large. Each time a year is labeled one of change for females, it disappears into the miasma of memory because the change was never real.
The first YOW came in 1992, when an unprecedented number of women were elected to the Senate after the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, prompting Sen. Barbara Mikulski to scoff: "Calling 1992 the Year of the Woman makes it sound like the Year of the Caribou or the Year of the Asparagus." Oscar made YOW its theme the following year, opening the show with a photo of 67 female winners and declaring, "Oscar Celebrates Women and the Movies." Hollywood followed with several more YOWs — indeed, in the mid-1990s every year seemed like a YOW thanks to three studios being run by women (Sherry Lansing, Amy Pascal and Stacey Snider). The most recent YOW came in 2018 with the double whammy of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, fueling hope that perhaps — possibly, maybe — Hollywood would never need another YOW. If only that were true. Certainly in the executive suites women have moved forward in leaps and bounds. But further down, change has been slow, as evident in the current Oscar race.
Academy president John Bailey noted at the Feb. 4 Nominees Lunch that more women have been nominated this year than ever before: 59 of the 212 nominees for the 91st Oscars are female, up from 51 last year. True, there's a panoply of women filling less prominent categories such as live-action, documentary and animated shorts. But dig deeper and women are as rare in other categories as female members of the Augusta National.
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