Natalie’s Jibe on “All Male Nominees” Needs to be put Under Microscope
Golden Globe 2018: A night which is meant to celebrate the best of fashion and cinema, became a platform for protest against sexual harassment and gender bias in Hollywood. Actor Natalie Portman did not shy away from calling out the Golden Globe organisers on “All Male Nominees” in the Best Director category. Not that we are complaining. We won’t mind if this trend walks its way to the Oscars.
Twitter obviously loved the way Portman burned the organisers, while doing the “honour” of announcing the winner for the Best Director category, with six simple words, “And Here are the All Male Nominees.”
— Andrew Autio (@AndrewAutio) January 8, 2018
If you don't appreciate #NataliePortman's statement, you most likely are not a woman who's had to-do 3x as much as a man in her industry before she was recognized.
— Lola (@lolastakeontheW) January 8, 2018
— Rachel Spalding (@rachntha502) January 8, 2018
#NataliePortman "here are the all male nominees" omg savage! Also Natalie wasn't coming at the men who were nominated, BUT the association's bias when it comes to nominations! Keep that in mind. She's not trying to take anything away from them. #GoldenGlobes
— nahomy (is finally binging SPN) (@nahomy_rookie10) January 8, 2018
But did she push the girl power agenda a tad too much? Some thought so:
— Jacob (@EmperorAJacob) January 8, 2018
#NataliePortman you embarrassed me tonight. Those nominations were about hard work, not gender, and you spat all over that. What a disgusting display and attempt at political agenda. Excuse me, a FAILED agenda. #BackUpNatalie
— Faye Anne (@wifeymama35) January 8, 2018
That time of the month for #NataliePortman? How rude could she be? Totally disrespected all the Best Director nominees trying to win a few virtue signaling points by whining about the nominees being all men. Shame.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) January 8, 2018
NO! She is not on her periods Mr Dice. But what are you on?
There are several ways you can interpret Natalie’s statement.
Natalie was not belittling the work of directors like Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro. She was merely stating a fact. Why were there no female nominees in the best director’s category?
— kevin (@youngwonton) January 8, 2018
If we look at films released this year, a few films directed by women found commercial and critical success like, Wonder Woman (directed by Patty Jenkins), The Beguiled (Directed by Sofia Coppola) and Lady Bird (Directed by Greta Gerwig). Another film, Detroit (Directed by Oscar Winner Kathryn Bigelow) failed to do business at the box office, but was appreciated by the critics. Similarly, Wonder Woman might be a commercially successful film, but cinematically, it is not worthy of getting the director a nomination. We all love Wonder Woman despite all its flaws. But flaws are all that matter when it comes to awards.
It is curious that the film Lady Bird won in the Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy) category, and yet Greta Garwig failed to score a nomination in the Best Director’s category. Maybe this was what Natalie was trying to point at.
How can a film, which was praised for its direction, found commercial success, and won the Best Motion Picture category award not score its director a nomination?
Another takeaway from Natalie’s “All-Male Nominees” comment is lack of opportunities for female directors in Hollywood. We live in a world where women indeed have to work three times harder to get recognition and prove their mettle. Thus, being a class-A director is not enough. Having a hit film to your name is not enough. Nothing is enough, until they get to work on good projects consistently. Simply dusting your hands off by saying that female directors need to up their game, shows how little people understand about gender politics and gender bias that goes around matter-of-factly in Hollywood.
Studios and producers need to back up female directors just like they back their male directors.
Hollywood gave multiple chances to directors like Zack Snider, M. Night Shyamalan and Brett Ratner to get back on track after making bad movies. But does it give similar chances to women?
As 2018 starts on a note of change in Hollywood, we sincerely hope that it learns to trust women directors more. It’s not about not getting nominations or winning an award. It’s about getting equal opportunities to make good films. Hollywood is not short on talent, when it comes to female directors. All they need is strong backing.
Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.