Advocates in support of women were both heard and seen at last night’s 75th Golden Globe Awards. The nominees and presenters all wore black in support of sexual assault and domestic abuse survivors, and to send a message about ending gender inequality in the workplace. This move was orchestrated in large part thanks to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund that was announced by many women in film and other industries on new year’s day. “Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential,” according to the organization’s website, timesupnow.com.
Many speeches and red carpet interviews finally put women at the center, forcing entertainment reporters to ask about more than who designed what dress or “how it feels” to be nominated. Host Seth Meyers and Cecil B. Demille honoree Oprah Winfrey used the ceremony to address the ongoing revelations of sexual harassment in not only the entertainment industry, but also across all industries. (Winfrey even used the platform to address the life and recent death of Recy Taylor.)
But how did the female nominees fare? Though there were promising wins for The Handmaids Tale and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on the television side (both series are created by, run by and tell stories about women), there was still a noticeable gender gap in certain film categories. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has essentially shut out female directors for decades. No women were nominated in the Best Director – Motion Picture category this year, despite notable options like Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees and Patty Jenkins. Natalie Portman drew extra attention to the lack of recognized women directors when she presented the category by saying, “And here are the all-male nominees.”
In the 75-year history of the ceremony, only five women (nominated in seven different years) have been recognized for directing, whether or not their films were recognized in other categories.The only woman winner on record is Barbra Streisand (for Yentl in 1984). She was nominated again in 1992 for The Prince of Tides. When she presented the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama at the end of the ceremony, Streisand addressed that she was the only woman to win the category – 34 years ago.
“That was 1984, that was 34 years ago. Folks, time’s up. We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director. There are so many films out there that are so good directed by women.”
Kathryn Bigelow is the only other two-time nominee (The Hurt Locker in 2010 and Zero Dark Thirty in 2013). Others include Jane Campion (The Piano in 1994) and Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation in 2004). Ava Duvernay was the last woman nominated in the category, for Selma in 2015.
Lady Bird won Best Motion Picture in the Musical/Comedy category, giving writer-director Greta Gerwig a chance to have her due. The feature also won Best Actress for star Saoirse Ronan (which is not as difficult to pronounce as people think). The Greatest Showman was the only other nominee in the category co-written by a woman (Jenny Bicks). Despite being shut out of the director race, Gerwig was nominated for her outstanding screenplay, along with Vanessa Taylor for co-writing Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Liz Hannah for co-writing The Post with Josh Singer. That award went to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scribe Martin McDonough, whose feature swept the night with best support actor, best actress and best drama wins.
© Brigid K. Presecky (1/8/18) FF2 Media
Barbra Streisand is the only female winner of the Best Director award in the 75-year history of the Golden Globes.
Time’s Up advocates Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria with Harvey Weinstein silence breakers Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd.