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Why Are All Of The Female Directors Missing From The Golden Globes?

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BY December 12, 2019
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The Golden Globe nominations were released early this week and some people are excited to see their favorite films and actors nominated. Unfortunately, some things were lacking from the list of nominees. Awards shows are often judged for a lack of diversity. The #OscarsSoWhite trend may have happened a few years back, but the problems of diversity continue to exist. People of color are receiving nominations far less often than non-POC, and men continue to take up all of the space in non-gendered categories. So, what gives? And how has the world been reacting to the lack of female directors in the Golden Globes nominations?

Directors Nominated For Golden Globes 2020

You can head over to our Golden Globes nominations list for a complete listing of each category. The nominees for Best Director are:

Bong Jong Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

A Brief History of Winning Directors At The Golden Globes And Other Shows

Barbra Streisand won the Golden Globe for Best Director in 1983. Her film, Yentl, follows the story of a young Jewish girl (played by Streisand herself) as she navigates gendered expectations and disguises herself as a boy to attend religious training. Streisand is the only female who has ever won a Golden Globe for directing. In 2009, Kathryn Bigelow won the Oscar for Best Director for her work on The Hurt Locker. And she is the only female who has ever won an Oscar for directing. Sure, there are plenty of incredible male directors who have deserved their wins. But for each major awards show to only have one female director is a bit appalling.

There are often years where female directors see snubs even when it comes to nominations, let alone the win. In 2017, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird won the category of Best Picture – Musical or Comedy. Though, despite the well-deserved win, Gerwig didn’t even make the list of nominees for Best Director, despite being nominated for the Oscar in the same category, which is considered to be more competitive.

The 2020 Golden Globes Snub

There are some incredible female-directed films released this year that were eligible for the nomination. Most surprisingly, Greta Gerwig was expected to be nominated for her upcoming adaptation of Little Women. Other potential contenders could have included Lulu Wang (The Farewell, which was nominated for other significant awards), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy). Har’el spoke out about the lack of diversity in a series of tweets.

Unfortunately, the HFPA (the group responsible for voting) doesn’t seem to be concerned with the lack of female representation. Lorenzo Soria, the president of the HFPA, told Variety that they don’t “vote by gender”, but instead by “film and accomplishment”. Female directors should not need their category to be gender-based. They just need their accomplishments to be considered in the same way that the accomplishment of men are. Though, this topic brings up questions about how female-directed films are often less talked about in the media, receive less marketing, or are generally looked down upon by moviegoers for few reasons other than the director being a woman. So, are movies directed by women more harshly judged? Probably. And we can thank hundreds of years of sexism for that.

How Todd Phillips Falls Into The Controversy

Joker will go down as one of the most talked-about films this year. Though, the film, led by a powerhouse performance by Joaquin Pheonix, stirred some controversy for its subject matter. Though, money talks and the money seems to think that people loved the movie. And, regardless of the controversy, it was pretty good. Though, was it Best Director level good? Joaquin Pheonix is not a new actor in need of overwhelming direction to get such a great performance. Phillips deserves recognition for his film, but he may not be the most deserving of the nomination. Some users took to Twitter to share their frustrations.

The Future Of Female Filmmakers

Unfortunately, female filmmakers continue to see snubs in all areas of filmmaking. It’s not just the directing categories where their presence is sparse. This lack of representation may discourage females from film studies, creating environments where their presence is seen as out of place. And it’s all too easy to feel like you don’t belong. So, having such major Hollywood corporations exclude even well-accomplishing directors must be pretty disheartening.

Awards ceremonies are not everything. The Best Director categories don’t necessarily mean that someone is the best director. After all, we know that there are some intense “For Your Consideration” competitions out there. So, one of the best things that you can do to support your favorite female creators is to go out and see their movie. And hopefully, we’ll start to see more female directors in nominee lists like the Golden Globes in the years to come.

Readers, who are your favorite female film directors? And what female-directed films did you love from 2019? Let us know your thoughts on female directors and who should have won a nomination at the Golden Globes.

Featured image via Joe Shlabotnik.

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Meghan Hale is a graduate student living right outside of Toronto, Canada. She has always been the go-to gal for talking about anything film related and has a frustratingly long list of movie trivia up her sleeve. She is currently working on her first screenplay, as well as a horror novel, with the goal of publishing it while Stephen King is still around to read it.

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