Issa Rae is calling it like she sees it. The Insecure creator and star, 35, threw shade after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences failed to nominate any women directors for Oscars in 2020.
Rae, who announced the nominees with John Cho on Monday, January 13, made a pointed remark after listing off the all-male roster in the best director category: Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite).
“Congratulations to those men,” she said with a straight face.
Several acclaimed 2019 movies were directed by women, including Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers, Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell.
This marks the second year in a row that women have been shut out of the Oscars’ directing category. The last female director to be nominated was Gerwig, 36, in 2018 for Lady Bird; she would have become the first-ever woman to have two directing nominations under her belt had she been recognized on Monday.
In 92 years, only five women have ever been nominated for best director Oscars: Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties, 1977), Jane Campion (The Piano, 1994), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2004), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010) and Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2018). Bigelow, 68, is the only one who has won.
Rae’s dig on Monday came two years after Natalie Portman famously announced “the all-male nominees” for best director on stage at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. Still, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did not nominate any female directors for Globes in 2019 or 2020.
Joker leads this year’s Oscars with 11 nominations, followed by The Irishman with 10. Both films are nominated for Best Picture alongside Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite.
The 92nd Academy Awards air on ABC Sunday, February 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET.
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