After the Hollywood Foreign Press Association failed to nominate a woman for Best Director at the Golden Globes on Monday, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder Stacy Smith told TheWrap that the nominations don’t reflect the reality of the industry and threatens to make awards shows like it “increasingly more irrelevant” if they fail to be more inclusive.
Smith says a bias still exists that suggests women are not allowed to lead, and that female stories are considered less important. The lack of female inclusion among director nominees threatens to thwart the progress that Hollywood has made in hiring and employment across the industry over the last several years.
“The real concern is, when you have an ecosystem that’s starting to change and a governing body that doesn’t, it really thwarts the effort of the entire ecosystem striving to reflect the world that we live in,” Smith told TheWrap. “We’re far from proportional representation, but we’re starting to see change, and this thwarts that progress. It continues to perpetuate a lopsided view of talent that fosters the longevity of male directors over their female peers.”
The HFPA overlooked strong contenders in the Best Director category, including Greta Gerwig for “Little Women,” Marielle Heller for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Lulu Wang for “The Farewell,” Olivia Wilde for “Booksmart,” and Lorene Scafaria for “Hustlers.” Instead, the nominees were all men: Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Sam Mendes (“1917”), Todd Phillips (“Joker”), Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”).
And Smith is not the only one criticizing the Globes nomination. One of the contending directors, Alma Har’el of the film “Honey Boy,” said in a tweet after the nominations, “do not look for justice in the awards system.”
The organization Time’s Up similarly condemned the HFPA.
“This year, there have been twice as many women-led features than ever, with more films by female directors on the way. And yet, as today’s nominations show, women – and especially women of color – continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off,” the group said in a statement to TheWrap. “The omission of women isn’t just a Golden Globes problem — it is an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable. TIME’S UP will continue to fight until talented female directors get the opportunities and recognition they deserve.”
In a quote to Variety however, HFPA president Lorenzo Soria pushed back at the lack of diversity for women in the directing category by saying, “What happened is that we don’t vote by gender. We vote by film and accomplishment.” Smith said Soria’s statement is “an adventure in missing the point.”
“What we’re really seeing is a bias or a template or a mindset where females aren’t given the opportunity to lead in the same capacity as their male peers,” Smith said. “There are real consequences, because it’s communicating a double standard. Now we’re seeing studios and production companies hire differently, but we don’t see women lauded and celebrated for their achievements behind the camera.”
Smith said that this year, women saw a significant uptick in directing opportunities, with the average sitting between 12-14% when it generally sits at just 4%. And she noted that many of the films directed by women managed nominations at the Globes, even though their directors were absent. But the lack of nominations more broadly she says has direct consequences on the ability for women to attain opportunities in the industry moving forward or for their films to find box office success and profitability.
Smith said she’d like to review the criteria the HFPA uses to decide their selections, pointing to how Tina Tchen helped to revamp the process and outcome for the Grammy nominations within the Recording Academy to include the work of more female artists.
She explained that above all, the HFPA is made up of Hollywood’s press, and she hopes that enough voices will continue to call out any institution that fails to accurately represent the industry.
“Any system that is unjust needs to be called into account and needs to be held accountable because this is, in fact, a press outlet,” Smith said. “All bodies have a responsibility to represent the world as it is, not the world that is stereotypical or traditional in perspective. All of these cultural institutions are growing increasingly more irrelevant by the day if they do not look like the world in which we live.”
In the 77 years of the Golden Globes, only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director across seven films. Ava DuVernay was the most recent female nominee for her film “Selma” in 2015. Barbra Streisand and Kathryn Bigelow have each been nominated twice, and Jane Campion and Sofia Coppola have also received nominations.
19 Golden Globes Nominations Snubs and Surprises, From 'When They See Us' to Cate Blanchett (Photos)
Who was a surprise, and who was left out in the Golden Globe Award nominations on Dec. 9?
Snub: Robert De Niro
“The Irishman” got a lot of love at the Globes, including nods for both of his co-stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the Supporting Actor category, but De Niro himself came away empty-handed.
Surprise: Cate Blanchett for "Where'd You Go Bernadette?"
Cate Blanchett’s performance in Richard Linklater’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” was fairly forgotten, as the movie was a late summer release that didn’t play the festival circuit, and the film was a critical and box office disappointment considering its pedigree. It’s a good thing the HFPA remembered though, because she’s phenomenal in a light-hearted, but complex role.
Snub: "Game of Thrones"
"Game of Thrones," one of the most critically acclaimed shows ever, received no love on Monday except for lead actor Kit Harington. At the Emmys this year, the show swooped five awards, out of its 10 nominations.
Surprise: Ana de Armas for "Knives Out"
Ana de Armas was great in "Knives Out," but her nomination came as a bit of a surprise to some, especially because "Hustlers'" Constance Wu was shut out.
Snub: "The Handmaid's Tale"
The Hulu show has seen major wins in previous year for "The Handmaid's Tale," but this year, the Elisabeth Moss-fronted show couldn't even score a nomination.
Surprise: Annette Bening for "The Report"
Annette Bening plays Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Scott Z. Burns’ dense but scathing drama about how the CIA aimed to cover up its use of torture and “enhanced interrogation techniques” following 9/11. Her co-star Adam Driver as investigator Daniel J. Jones is deserving as well, but he got nominated for his work in “Marriage Story”
Snub: "When They See Us"
Niecy Nash and Jharrel Jerome were predicted nominees, and the show was expected to get a Best TV Limited Series nod, at least -- but it got absolutely nothing. Shocking, especially because it received the most love at the Critics Choice Awards just the day before, and Jerome won the Emmy.
The underrated Hulu wartime drama “Catch-22” scored some surprise nominations in the Limited Series category and for star Christopher Abbott. And this will give the HFPA an opportunity to invite George Clooney to the ceremony.
Snub: Noah Baumbach for Best Director
Baumbach was left out of the Best Director nominations for his film "Marriage Story," in a category that included Bong Joon Ho ("Parasite"), Sam Mendes ("1917"), Todd Phillips ("Joker"), Martin Scorsese ("The Irishman") and Quentin Tarantino ("Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"). Stiff competition, but still a surprise.
Surprise: "Two Popes" in Best Drama and Jonathan Pryce in Best Actor
“The Two Popes” is a delightful movie, but it might be the lightest among the other very serious drama nominees. And Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis, though he bears a splitting resemblance to the pontiff, is a surprise for having beaten out guys like Robert De Niro in “The Irishman.”
Snub: Lupita Nyong'o for "Us"
After Nyong'o won the New York Film Critics Circle award for Best Actress for her role in Jordan Peele's "Us," we thought the HFPA might do the same. However, the actress got no love on Monday.
Surprise: Reese Witherspoon for "Morning Show"
Those Apple TV+ subscriptions must be fresh for voters, because they didn’t just nominate Jennifer Aniston for her work on “The Morning Show,” they also nominated Reese Witherspoon to give the show two Lead Actress nominations in the same category.
Apple TV +
Snub: "Uncut Gems"
There was no love at all for Adam Sandler's "Uncut Gems," although the National Board of Review just named it one of the 10 best films of the year, and Sandler even won Best Actor. The New York Film Critics Circle gave the Best Director Award to the Safdie Brothers for the film.
Surprise: Christina Applegate
Applegate was wonderful in "Dead To Me" and definitely deserves recognition, but the could be deemed a surprise given the other heavy hitters that could've received a nomination. For example, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was left out for "Veep."
Snub: "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie"
What's the opposite of "Yeah, bitch!"? Oh, right: No, bitch!
We waited six years to find out what happened to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and actually got a very good movie along with that answer -- and yet no Golden Globe nomination?!? Even Aaron himself was left out in the cold -- and we're not talking about where he ends up. C'mon, dog.
Surprise: Ramy Youssef
Youssef was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy category, alongside Ben Platt, Bill Hader, Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. Ted Danson ("The Good Place") was shut out.
Snub: Jeremy Strong
The amount of crap that Kendall Roy (Strong) had to suffer this season on "Succession" and not even a lousy Golden Globe nomination? OK, so there's nothing "lousy" about a Globes nod, but this snub sure is. Don't get us wrong, Brian Cox is very deserving and likely split the vote in a Christian Bale-Matt Damon "Ford v. Ferrari" scenario, but Jeremy was just as deserving as his small-screen big poppa. That rap alone!
Happy to see (TV) lil' bro Roman (Kieran Culkin, the actual lil' bro of Macauley Culkin) recognized in his own category.
Snub: Female Directors
Once again, not one woman was nominated in the Best Director category, although this year was stacked with critically-acclaimed films directed by women. Lulu Wang ("The Farewell"), Melisa Matsoukas ("Queen & Slim"), Marielle Heller ("A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood") and Greta Gerwig ("Little Women"), for example, were left out.
Snub: "Honey Boy"
Alma Har'el's film was completely shut out as well -- not even Shia LaBeouf received a nod for portraying his own father in the film based on his own life.
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Cate Blanchett and Reese Witherspoon also received surprise nods, while ”Succession’s“ Jeremy Strong was shut out
Who was a surprise, and who was left out in the Golden Globe Award nominations on Dec. 9?