You may have heard about the five nominations for Best Director for the Academy Awards. They are, as follows, Bong Joon-ho, Sam Mendes, Todd Phillips, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino. Every one of them is a man, which means, by process of elimination, none of them is a woman. This has garnered a lot of frustration and anger, particularly pointed toward the absence of Greta Gerwig for her film Little Women. Yes, Gerwig was not nominated for Best Director, though she did get a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, and the first is up for Best Picture. While there is very much an issue here, that is not it.
We do a disservice to the issue by boiling this down to “Gerwig got snubbed.” Maybe you think that, but also maybe you don’t. This is a subject matter, after all. I have not seen Little Women yet, or 1917, which Sam Mendes got nomination for. In the end, though, only five directors can be nominated for Best Director. Hundreds of films are made every year, and only five can get a nod. Other directors, such as Noah Baumbach and Taika Waititi, didn’t get nominations either. Having all five directors up for this award being men is not in and of itself an issue. The problem is that everything is boiling down to Gerwig being snubbed. That’s where the problem lies.