Oscars 2020: How Hollywood's biggest night turned out to be yet another 'male-dominated' show

With majority of nominations and wins featuring men, we wonder if the industry’s most significant event could be called misogynistic


                            Oscars 2020: How Hollywood's biggest night turned out to be yet another 'male-dominated' show
Bong Joon-Ho, Roger Deakins, Taika Waititi (Getty Images)

Why do you think Natalie Portman walked into the Oscars night flaunting a Dior ensemble with names of female directors embroidered in gold? Like we all know by now, it was a creative way of showing her support for the female directors who didn’t make it to the nominations despite their works being brilliant. But there’s more to that. It is also to show the world that women in this industry matter and it’s time that their contributions are recognized. It was a silent but bold statement that got people talking and made everyone realize how misogynistic the industry has become.

We are not the only ones pointing this out, but hundreds of people on social media, both men and women, feel the same way. Here’s a comment from a Twitter user, “A beautiful dress, even more beautiful cape, for its beautiful message and nod to female directing talent. #OscarsSoMale”

Natalie Portman had the names of the female directors sewn into her cape at the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9, 2020. (Getty Images)

The 92nd Academy Awards marks the end of the award season in Hollywood. For nearly a hundred years now, the most prominent and respected association of the entertainment industry has been honoring actors, directors, artists, writers, and everyone who make the experience of watching movies worth our while. And when we talk about creative geniuses, it is supposed to be regardless of gender? But looks like this billion dollar (and constantly rising) industry has always been tilted towards men. Don’t get us wrong. We value and admire each one of these people who have been recognized in their respective fields over the years. The question is, how and why did these iconic wins remain favored to men? Didn’t we have ample women in a similar capacity, showcasing the best of their best at this huge, worldwide platform? The fact is, we did, and instances of their creative brilliance continue to grow, but unfortunately remains unrecognized.

Let’s take the category of female directors this year, for instance. Here’s a list of the women who came up with some of the most remarkable films, and there’s ample evidence of that from fans. Yet, none of them could make it to the nominations. Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim) Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) weren’t even given a chance before they could win or lose the race. In 92 years, there were only five women nominated for this category. Surprising much? Perhaps that’s how the trend has become. The same goes for the Best Screenplay category, where Gerwig and Krysty Wilson-Cairns both lost their chances to their male contenders, proving that there was no female Oscar-winning screenwriter once again in decades.

Then there’s cinematography, which is yet again another undermined category. We cannot help but agree with this Twitter fan who says, “The numbers for female cinematographers are even worse than the number of female directors. One nominated. Ever. And you know they don't have to carry big cameras anymore. How about we employ a few more women? #AcademyAwards”

This year, for the first time, we saw a female music composer take the award home for the Best Original Score. Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir became the first-ever woman in Hollywood to ace this category, and we are in 2019! Yes, we agree that this is a huge achievement but then again, it was a wait of 92 long years!

One might argue that Best Costume Design category also saw a female winner. But Jacqueline Durran's win does not justify the missed opportunities of hundreds of women over the decades. Here’s quoting a viewer on the point. “The costume design award has traditionally been one of those sops to women awards. Not to undercut the importance, just noting how far women are allowed rise by the Academy.”

Truth be told, we are in absolute admiration of everyone that made the Oscars night a spectacle, starting from the performers, to nominees and the winners. But it would be way more worthwhile if the women could stand side by side with men when it came to winning the golden statuette as well

Disclaimer : The views expressed in this article belong to the writer and are not necessarily shared by MEAWW.