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Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences receives flak for sidelining women directors

Oscar 2020 nominations on Monday featured only male filmmakers in their direction category.

PTI PTI
New Delhi Published on: January 14, 2020 16:06 IST
oscars 2020

 According to critics, it was a repeat of the 2017 #Oscarssowhite controversy.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is facing criticism for excluding women directors and some worthy performances from actors of colour in its nominations. Oscar nominations on Monday featured only male filmmakers in their direction category, which critics say was a repeat of the 2017 #Oscarssowhite controversy.

Greta Gerwig, whose "Lady Bird" follow-up "Little Women" earned six nods, including best actress for Saoirse Ronan and best supporting actress for Florence Pugh, was overlooked for best director consideration. Gerwig, however, received a nomination in the adapted screenplay category. Ronan, who picked up her fourth career Oscar nomination, said Greta’s omission left her "scratching (her) head a bit."

"But to me, Greta, since she started, has made two perfect films, and I hope when she makes her next perfect movie, she gets recognised for everything, because I think she’s one of the most important filmmakers of our time," Ronan told Deadline. Pugh said Gerwig’s snub was a "big blow, especially because she created a film that is so her and so unique and it’s just come out of her, and it’s been a story she’s wanted to do for so long."

But it was not just Gerwig. Female filmmakers like Olivia Wilde ("Booksmart"), Lulu Wang ("The Farewell"), Joanna Hogg ("The Souvenir"), Lorene Scafaria ("Hustlers"), Marielle Heller ("A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood") and Celine Sciamma ("Portrait of a Lady on Fire") were all sidelined. The stars of these films have also been overlooked, most notably Awkwafina of "The Farewell" as she recently scripted history by becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win the Golden Globe for best actress - comedy or musical. Jennifer Lopez of "The Hustlers" was another actor who was overlooked for her performance as veteran stripper who takes Constance Wu's Destiny under her wings.

Among the prominent black faces of Hollywood, Oscar winners Lupita Nyong'o ("Us") and Jamie Foxx ("Just Mercy") lost out on nods in best actress and best supporting actor categories. Eddie Murphy and his Netflix feature "Dolemite Is My Name" also received cold shoulder from the Academy voters as the movie did not receive even one nod.

The Academy Awards, however, did take steps towards by inclusitvity, unlike its British counterpart the BAFTAs, which had no actor of colour in their acting categories. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" scripted history by becoming the first Asian feature to be nominated in the best picture category. The movie received a total of six nominations.

British actor Cynthia Erivo, overlooked by BAFTAs for best actress consideration, landed an Oscar nod. Antonio Banderas of "Pain and Glory" also managed to receive a nomination in the best actor category. 

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