The Golden Globes Ignores Female Directors: Hollywood Reacts

Charlize Theron and ‘Honey Boy’ director Alma Ha’rel spoke out about the already infamous snubs.

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

The Golden Globes has ignored female directors. Again. Nearly two years after Natalie Portman made a widely-GIF’d statement at the awards ceremony calling out the “all-male” nominees for best director, the Globes have once again honored exclusively male filmmakers for the 2020 awards show. (The full list: Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, Sam Mendes for 1917, Todd Phillips for Joker, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, and Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Timein Hollywood.)

And so Hollywood is responding. Honey Boy director Alma Ha’rel took to Twitter to express her exasperation with the Golden Globes’ lack of recognition for women. “Good morning to everyone that’s writing me about the #goldenglobes,” she tweeted. “I feel you but know this. I was on the inside for the first time this year. These are not our people and they do not represent us. Do not look for justice in the awards system. We are building a new world.”

This all feels particularly egregious when you consider the year that female directors have had in Hollywood. Harel (who made a really wonderful film) tweeted a list including filmmakers that the Globes ignored. Greta Gerwig’s Little Woman is poised to be a massive hit; Lulu Wang’s The Farewell was deservedly critically adored; Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers was a critical and financial success; people are weeping everywhere for Marielle Heller’s Mr. Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; Mati Diop’s Atlantics has been met with a rapturous reception; wildly successful music video director Melina Matsoukas made a splash with her debut feature, Queen and Slim; Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart instantly entered the canon of great teen movies; Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire won the award for Best Screenplay at Cannes; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency is the first feature directed by a Black woman to receive the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The snubs go on and on, especially when you consider that a number of these films received nominations in other categories.

Charlize Theron also spoke out. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times regarding her nomination for her work in Bombshell, Theron said that the lack of nominations for female directors is “really, really ridiculous.”

“It’s tough,” she said. “It’s really, really tough. And I think it gets really frustrating when we we have to remember that women directors, especially, are just trying to get their numbers up. They represent 10% of our directors in the industry, and when you have a good year like we had this year with such great work, it is incredibly frustrating. No woman wants to get nominated because it’s the right thing to do. It’s really, really ridiculous. It’s not cool. It’s really hard, and I think it’s unfair, and it’s why we can’t stop this fight. We gotta keep making noise until we’re heard and these stories get recognized.”

Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Lorenzo Soria defended the nominations. “What happened is that we don’t vote by gender. We vote by film and accomplishment,” he told Variety. It’s going to be an interesting night at the awards.