Florence Pugh, Amy Pascal, Tom Rothman on Greta Gerwig’s Directing Snub: ‘It’s a Man’s World’

Sony chief Rothman calls it an “unfortunate omission”

“Little Women” director Greta Gerwig was left out of the 2020 Oscar nominations on Monday. In fact, not one woman was nominated in the Director category this year, despite there being a record number of female directors behind the top-grossing films of 2019.

Florence Pugh, who was nominated for her role as Amy March in “Little Women,” weighed in on the snub, saying that we live in a man’s world, just like the women in Gerwig’s film.

“I haven’t spoken to her yet, but it is sad that we had three months of conversations to maybe change and they didn’t,” Pugh told TheWrap shortly after the nominations were announced. “I’ve been saying this all along: Greta made a film about women and relationships with money and working in a man’s world, and this highlights it. I don’t know what the solution is, I don’t know how to solve it. Also this year we had the most films written, produced and directed y women, so it’s not like there isn’t content out there — there is. We have to adjust.”

Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, the studio behind “Little Women,” agreed.

“Yeah, it sucks. It’s a bittersweet morning,” he told TheWrap. “The film was nominated for best picture, but it didn’t direct itself — and she wrote it! That was an unfortunate omission, but not because of [gender inequality]. Greta Gerwig is not a great female director, she is one of the great young directors working today, period, regardless of gender.”

Amy Pascal, who served as a producer on “Little Women,” took a more optimistic approach.

“What we are really pleased about, both Greta and I, is that ‘Little Women’ is actually the third movie that has been produced, directed, and written by a woman to be nominated and we’re really proud of that,” Pascal said.

Other nominees, like Rian Johnson (who was nominated for his “Knives Out” screenplay), were also upset about Gerwig’s shut-out. Johnson said he would’ve loved to see Gerwig get the recognition she deserved because she did “such a wonderful job” on the film.

Despite the outcry over a second straight year without a woman nominated for Best Director, the Academy showed record progress in gender parity on Monday with women making up 31.1% of this year’s Oscar nominees, the highest percentage ever.

Based on TheWrap’s count, 65 of the 209 individuals across all 24 competitive categories from 2019’s crop of films are women. That’s compared to 62 of 225 nominees last year (27.5%), 57 of 213 individual nominees in 2017 (26.8%), and 48 of 211 in 2016 (22.7%).