Women Received Just 23 Percent of Non-Acting Oscar Nominations in 2018, Study Says

Men received 77 percent of all behind-the-scenes Oscar nominations, according to a report by the Women’s Media Center

Women's Media Center Study
Women's Media Center

A new study by the Women’s Media Center has found that women have made only slight progress at the Academy Awards, landing just 23 percent of all non-acting nominations in 2018 compared to 77 percent for men.

That’s an increase of just three percent from 2017 in the 19 major non-acting categories, including those recognizing writing, editing, producing, and directing. Overall, women received 43 non-acting nominations, while men received 148. Costume Design is the only category in which women achieved parity.

The Women’s Media Center noted that despite small gains, some progress in high-profile categories had still been made: Cinematographer Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated in her category for her work on “Mudbound.” The report also cites Greta Gerwig, the fifth woman ever nominated for Best Director, and Dee Rees, the second African American woman ever nominated for writing.

But women were shut out entirely from the score, sound editing, and visual effects categories, the study notes.

Broken down by category, women made up 20 percent of directors, 17 percent of editors, 20 percent of cinematographers, 11 percent of adapted screenplay writers, 43 percent of original screenplay writers, 31 percent of feature documentarians and 38 percent of short documentarians nominated. Women also made up 27 percent of Best Picture nominees.

“We are… proud of the efforts of all women who continue to break barriers in the film industry, despite systemic cultural and institutional bias,” Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, said in a statement.

“Over the past year, many brave women have stepped forward to tell stories of pervasive sexual harassment and worse in the film industry — forcing the nation to realize how little power women have had in Hollywood and sparking new demands for change,” Burton continued. “The
absence of women in critical behind-the-scenes roles — and the fact that men represent 77 percent of all nominees – means that women in the industry are missing opportunities for recognition and power. The larger society is deprived of women’s voices, perspectives, and creativity. At a time when women are demanding more power and visibility, these low numbers should be a wakeup call for Hollywood executives. The message is ‘Times up for inequality.’”

“These are times that call for sweeping and sustainable changes — as evidenced by the findings in this report,” added Pat Mitchell, WMC co-chair and chair of the Sundance Institute. “The Women’s Media Center will continue to shine a light on the status of women in Hollywood — and on all media platforms. Ultimately, changes must come from those who hold the power, and we know that few, if any, power holders throughout history have given up power without a struggle. But we are in this for the long haul. Change is coming. Time’s up.”

Read the whole study here.