One of the only award shows I will watch are the Academy Awards, and that’s because I’ve loved movies for as long as I can remember.
It’s one of my favourite nights of the year when it comes to television; getting to see who walks away with the top honour of best picture and if my predictions are correct.
My desire to watch the annual awards show has been waning over the last couple of years, mainly due to hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite and #DirectorsSoMale.
All of the nominees for best director were men this year, and this wasn’t the first time it’s happened.
There have only been five women nominated for the accolade at the Oscars, including Kathryn Bigelow for the Hurt Locker, Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties, Jane Campion for The Piano, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird.
In 2010, Bigelow became the only female in the history of the Oscars to win in the director group.
When it came to the acting categories, Cynthia Erivo, lead actress in Harriet, was the only person of colour to have her name put forward out of 20 nods.
The fact that we’re in 2020 and people are still becoming the first of anything to win an Oscar is incredibly sad, because that means they’re often being overlooked.
Whenever this controversy is brought up, a lot of claims are the rightful people are having their names put forward. I think those statements are false, because there’s amazing work being done by people that aren’t included.
The films from 2019 saw Gerwig directing Little Women, Marielle Heller with A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, Lorene Scafaria with Hustlers, and The Farewell by Lulu Wang all getting snubbed.
When it came to actors and actresses wowing audiences with their performances that got overlooked, there was Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy, Awkwafina in The Farewell, Lupita Nyong’o in Us, and Eddie Murphy in Dolomite is My Name.
They’re doing the work, yet they aren’t being recognized for it.
Over my years of watching the Academy Awards, I’ve been able to make educated guesses about what films will get nominated and win because it’s become increasingly obvious to me. Even if I don’t like a film, like Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood, I can usually figure out if it’s going to be included if it checks off certain criteria, like dealing with a controversial subject such as war.
I really think it’s time that we stop claiming there’s no good work being done by people other than white men, and actually seeing that there is. I want to have people acknowledged for the amazing movies they’re making, because they deserve it.