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At the 2020 Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the lack of female directing nominees was emphasized by presenters and performers during the beginning of the ceremony .
During their opening introduction to the ceremony, Chris Rock and Steve Martin referenced the absence of directing nominees when Martin said, “There’s something missing this year.” Rock filled in the blank with, “vaginas?”
While Greta Gerwig’s Little Women was up for best picture, no women were included this year in the category of best director — a continuing pattern from last year.
During Janelle Monáe’s musical intro to the show, she also commented on the topic. “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films,” she said. She also added, “Happy Black History Month!”
Further into the show, Sigourney Weaver, Gal Gadot and Brie Larson came together to present the first female-led orchestra in the Academy’s history. During their appearance on stage, they joked that they were starting a fight club, where the loser would have to answer questions from journalists about “how it feels to be a woman director in Hollywood.”
On the red carpet, Natalie Portman wore a Dior Haute Couture dress that paid tribute to the snubbed female directors by listing their surnames in gold embroidery down the lapel. The names were [Lorene] Scafaria, [Lulu] Wang, [Greta] Gerwig, [Mati] Diop, [Marielle] Heller, [Melina] Matsoukas, [Alma] Har’el and [Celine] Sciamma.
For her film Lady Bird, Gerwig was the last woman to be nominated for a directing Oscar in 2017. In the Academy’s 92-year history, only five women have been nominated for best director.
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