Issa Rae on Greta Gerwig’s Best Director Snub: ‘Congratulations to Those Men’

Issa Rae summed up our feelings exactly when she spoke out about Greta Gerwig and other female directors’ Oscars snub this morning.

The 35-year-old Insecure creator and star presented the list of 2020 Oscar nominations for the Best Director category live from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles and didn’t mince words once she realized none of the nominees are women.

“Congratulations to those men,” Rae quipped.

Which men exactly were nominated? Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Todd Phillips for (Joker) are all in the running.

Gerwig was expected to snag a nomination for Little Women, as was The Farewell director Lulu Wang and Hustlers director Lorne Scafaria. All three directors garnered critical praise for their respective films, but apparently not enough to earn nominations.

To date, only one woman—Kathryn Bigelow for her 2009 movie The Hurt Locker—has ever won the prestigious award. In 2017, Gerwig became the fifth-ever woman nominated for the Best Director award for Lady Bird. The only other women to have been nominated are Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1976, Jane Champion for The Piano in 1993 and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003. Sadly, it seems no further progress has been made toward making the category more gender-inclusive.

Thankfully, Gerwig was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Little Women additionally received a Best Picture nod, with Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively.

The 92nd annual Academy Awards will air on Sunday, February 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Let’s hope next year’s nominee list is more with the times.

Lex Goodman

Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.
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