The Oscars snub female directors again, reminding us why diversity in Hollywood truly matters


This year’s Oscar nominees have been released and there are no female directors in sight for the Best Director category. Have the Academy and Hollywood done enough to diversify the awards and create an inclusive environment?

Another year, another awards season; and this time, although, with slightly more diverse nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is under fire again for snubbing female directors.

Precisely zero female directors have been nominated in the Best Director category. While there is the presence of director Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? actors Mellissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in the running for Lead Actress and Lead Supporting Actor respectively, no such luck for Heller herself.

United Nations Women, the leading international entity of the UN working for global female empowerment, tweeted this earlier today:

For the last two years, the Oscars have been called out for lack of diversity as well as other embarrassing mistakes, such as that time the wrong envelope for Best Picture was called out. This year, the lack of female directors in the Best Director’s category is just another call for change by those who matter most to Hollywood: the fans and viewers.

More people are calling for a more inclusive media, where people of all colors and genders can feel represented on the big and small screens. For anyone who criticizes this call to action, just look to Women in Hollywood, which reports that for “the top 100 grossing films for 2018” only 4 percent of directors were female and yet, 50 percent of “moviegoers” are female.

There seems to be the fear of creating a “quota,” like many corporations and businesses tend to have for their employees, in Hollywood. Hollywood, of all places, is supposed to be that one industry where anybody can make it and reach their dreams. Yet, society continues to find out about the misogyny, racism, ageism and sexual harassment that runs rampant behind closed curtains.

The only way to counter “-isms” and create a space of inclusion is to be open to new faces, new plots, and new ideas. And no, this doesn’t mean that every single award has to be given to a woman or minority. It does mean creating an industry that accurately represents the population they are serving and no, Hollywood is not the only industry lacking on this front either.

To create separate categories to incorporate this representation would not be a solution nor even a compromise because it still separates the “main” category from the rest — the inner circle from the outer circle.

In fact, it would not be too far out to venture that this debate is not about awards nor categories at all. It is about providing entertainment for every person. To do that, Hollywood must include all people.

If anything, creativity can only increase when variety from all walks of life occurs behind the scenes and takes center stage in movies, music, television and beyond. The more there is of that will result in more potential viewers who, finally, will feel like these pieces of artwork speak and resonate with them.