Yikes, the 2020 Academy Award nominations yet again shut out any women directors

Another awards season, another deeply disappointing lack of diversity in the nominee lists. Today, January 13th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its snub-heavy 2020 Oscar nominations list, and—shocker!—not a single woman was nominated for the Best Director category.

Instead, we got another list of virtually all white men, in an identical list to the 2020 Golden Globes’ Best Director nominees. Bong Joon-ho, who directed Parasite, is the only person of color to be nominated for Best Director in this year’s major film awards ceremonies. Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Philips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood) round out this year’s nominees.

Let us remind you that this year saw an incredible collection of films directed by women.

Off the top of our heads, we’re thinking of Little Women (Greta Gerwig), Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria), Booksmart (Olivia Wilde), The Farewell (Lulu Wang), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller), Honey Boy (Alma Har’el), and Harriet (Kasi Lemmons). Thankfully, Little Women and Harriet received well-deserved nominations in other categories this year, but that makes their Best Director snubs even more glaring.

The lack of women in this year’s nominations list is not going unnoticed. After reading off the list, nominations presenter Issa Rae, absolutely dripping in sarcasm, quipped: “Congratulations to those men.”

And, as ever, Twitter is not. Having. It.



The Academy Awards has a long and rich tradition of not recognizing female directors. In the ceremony’s 90 years of existence, the Academy has only nominated five female directors and awarded one: Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.

Maybe 2021 will be the year that the Academy finally joins us in the real world, where white men are not the only artists worthy of acclaim. In the meantime, we’ll keep calling them out.

Filed Under