This morning (January 13), Issa Rae and John Cho helped announce the 2020 Oscar nominations from Los Angeles.
So many of your faves received nods, including Florence Pugh and Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). But much of the discussion online has been centered on who didn’t get a nomination. Some of the biggest snubs included Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers, Awkwafina for The Farewell, and Lupita Nyong’o for Us. And yet again, not a single woman was nominated in the Best Director category, where many thought Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Lorene Scarfaria (Hustlers), or Lulu Wang (The Farewell) deserved recognition.
And Issa Rae had a perfect response—and facial expression—to this news. After reading the list of names, she simply said, “Congratulations to those men.”
Twitter, of course, loved it. “‘Congratulations to those men.’ – Issa Rae introducing the Best Director category is a MOOD. #OscarNoms,” one person tweeted. “‘Congratulations to those men.’ @IssaRae is all of us, mad about the lack of a directing nod for Greta Gerwig,” another wrote, alongside a GIF of Pugh as Amy March.
This isn’t the first time a famous woman has called out an awards show for its lack of female directing nominees. In 2018, Natalie Portman was announcing the winner of the Best Director category at the Golden Globes when she said, “And here are the all-male nominees” before reading off the names. It was a fantastic burn, as well.
All internet fun aside, it’s ridiculous that we have to keep having this same conversation, year in and year out. There are so many worthy female directors that could have been nominated this year (and in the years past), and yet we still continue to see projects viewed through the male lens as more worthy of esteem and awards.
Do better, Hollywood.