Nothing could right the wrongs of the Golden Globes overlooking the women who should have been nominated for Best Director this year, but the Directors Guild of America’s nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, announced today, are thankfully diverse, including a nod for Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig. The DGA also took a progressive stance by nominating Jordan Peele twice, in the headline Feature Film category and for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for Get Out, making Peele the fourth black director to be nominated by the DGA (previous nominees include Barry Jenkins, Steve McQueen, and Lee Daniels, all of whom were nominated for films released within the last 10 years).
Recognizing Gerwig with a nomination marks only the ninth time the DGA has ever done so for a woman in this category, and a power move for the DGA to separate themselves from the voting committees who neglected to nominate women for directing awards earlier this year. Many of the directors of the films and television series being considered by the DGA are creators of woman-centric content—Amy Sherman-Palladino for the pilot of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Melina Matsoukas for Master of None‘s “Thanksgiving” episode, and actress Kyra Sedgwick for Story of a Girl, her directorial debut for Lifetime about the true story of a bullied young girl.
When Natalie Portman called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for only nominating men in the Best Director category at the 2018 Golden Globes, the look of shame was obvious on each nominee’s face. Following suit was Barbra Streisand, the only woman to have won a Golden Globe in the directing category in 1984, who reminded the audience of the fact that women are routinely overlooked for their accomplishments in Hollywood. Guillermo del Toro—who won the Golden Globe for Best Director for The Shape of Water and was nominated for the DGA awards in the same category as Greta Gerwig—recently gave a statement supporting Portman, listing Lady Bird, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and Dee Rees’ Mudbound as “terrific” films that should have been acknowledged for an award. In addition to the black dresses and the Time’s Up pins on the carpet, Portman and Streisand’s indictment of the failures of the HFPA, and failures of Hollywood in general, during the ceremony was a standout moment of protest from the hardworking women who are exhausted from being systemically pushed out of the conversation.
Turning the attention towards the 90th Academy Awards—whose nominees will be announced January 23—the last time a woman won an Oscar for Best Director was in 2010, when Katheryn Bigelow took home the Academy Award for The Hurt Locker, and she is only the fourth woman to do so. As the race towards the Oscars picks up speed, the Academy could stand to learn a few tips from the Directors Guild of America.