Academy Nominates 2 Female Directors FOR THE 1st TIME IN 93 YEARS

by Erica Gerald Mason
Dia Dipasupil/Arnold Turner/Santi Visalli/Getty

The 2021 Academy Award nominations are in, and are we supposed to cheer?

It’s a new time. Blue Ivy is the second-youngest person to win a Grammy award. Her mama, Beyonce is the first woman to ever receive 28 Grammys. Kamala is doing great as VP and we finally have a Second Gentleman.

So why is it applause-worthy news that we finally have two women nominated for Best Director at the 2021 Academy awards – at the same time? Oh, and for the first time, one of the women is a woman of color? Oh, and it’s the first time such a thing has occurred IN 93 FREAKING YEARS.

Two. We’re supposed to drop our panties for two. IN 93 YEARS.

Yes, their accomplishments are great, and yes, they deserve every bit of praise for their nominations. But no, we should not be patting the Academy on its head for recognizing female directors.

Despite Entertainment Tonight Canada’s claim that this is a diverse year for the Oscars, we still need to have a conversation about the Academy’s history.

Remember in 2016 when Leonardo DiCaprio’s team had the audacity to claim that our pal Leo deserved an Oscar – mainly because he’d been so patient for so long?

The press coverage back in 2016 was breathless – will Leo finally get what he’s been denied?

Hahaha. The entitlement of upper-class white men. How dare he have to wait until he was in his 40s for an Oscar? Never mind that Samuel L. Jackson has never won an Oscar. Neither has Glenn Close. Or Amy Adams.

Whoa whoa whoa, you say? What about Jane Campion? Director of the hit film The Piano? Nah. Campion won in 1994 for Best Screenplay but didn’t win Best Director.

But she was nominated, you might say. Well. Here’s a list of female-helmed pictures that scored well with critics and audiences over the years but did not score nominations for best director:

  • A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, Marielle Heller.
  • The Farewell, Lulu Wang.
  • One Night In Miami, Regina King.
  • Hustlers, Lorene Scafaria
  • Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola
  • Little Women, Greta Gerwig

There’s talent out there – if the Academy chooses to recognize it.

Yes, this year the Best Director category saw history being made, with two women filmmakers receiving nominations. Emerald Fennell was selected for Promising Young Woman, while as noted above, Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color to get a nod for directing. Asian-American director Lee Isaac Chung was likewise nominated for Minari, while Danish director Thomas Vinterberg scored a nomination for Another Round.

In another newsworthy nomination, Yuh-Jung Youn became the first South Korean actor to earn a nom for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Minari”. Star Steven Yeun was likewise nominated for Best Actor for the picture.

Other noteworthy nominations include the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, while Viola Davis was additionally acknowledged for her character in the movie.

Andra Day was noted for her lead performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, while Maria Bakalova earned a Supporting Actress nod for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which also received an Adapted Screenplay nod.

The Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC on Sunday, April 25th at 8 p.m. EST.