The 90th annual Academy Awards was full of glitz, glamour and powerful women making jokes at the expense of Hollywood’s sexism…
Academy Award-winner Emma Stone was asked to introduce the largely-male category of Best Director at the 2018 Oscars.
And, being a self-confessed feminist, Stone didn’t shy away from pointing out the severe lack of diversity in the field.
Stepping up to the podium, the actress called out the “four men and Greta Gerwig” who are nominated for Best Director in the best possible way.
“It is the director whose indelible touch is reflected on every frame. It is the director who shot by shot, scene by scene, day by day works with every member of the crew to further the story. And it is the vision of the director that takes an ordinary movie and turns it into a work of art.
“These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year,” Stone said.
It is worth noting, at this point, that Gerwig, who wrote and directed Lady Bird, is only the fourth woman to receive a nomination in the category, and the first to get one for their debut film. However, as predicted, Guillermo Del Toro ended up winning for The Shape of Water, beating out Gerwig, Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread).
Of course, Stone was not alone in her quest to highlight inequality at the Oscars: Sandra Bullock also took a shot across the bow of Hollywood, too.
While presenting the award for Best Cinematographer, the actress noted that “four men and one trailblazing woman” had been nominated.
And Bullock wasn’t over-selling it when she used the word “trailblazing”, either: Rachel Morrison, aka the incredible cinematographer for both Mudbound and Black Panther, is the first ever woman to be nominated in this category in the entire 90-year history of the Oscars.
And she’s not just breaking barriers, either: she’s also credited with making the film for this year that’s making the most money (Black Panther famously passed $430 million in its first two weeks, is approaching $800 million worldwide, and is on track to pass $600 million in North America, and more than $1 billion worldwide).
Both Bullock and Stone appear to have taken a leaf from Natalie Portman’s book, who made a similar point at this year’s Golden Globes – and for good reason, too.
The Women’s Media Centre (WMC) – an organisation established by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan that’s dedicated to increasing “decision-making power” for females in the media – recently released an eye-opening report about the amount of female Oscar nominees.
According to Variety, the report asserts that the representation of women has increased only minimally (from 20% to 23%) despite a concerted push by women and their allies to achieve greater representation for females in all parts of the film industry.
“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,” said Julie Burton, president of the WMC.
“The larger society is deprived of women’s voices, perspectives, and creativity,” she continued. “At a time when women are demanding more power and visibility, these low numbers should be a wake-up call for Hollywood executives.
“The message is ‘Time’s up for inequality.’”
Thankfully, though, things are changing: check out our pick of the 25 films every feminist should see this year (for all those who prefer a hefty dose of #girlpower alongside their popcorn).
Images: Rex Features