DGA Awards: Judd Apatow, DGA President Address Lack of Female Director Nominees

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Judd Apatow

"I’m sad to say no women nominated for director this year," Apatow said as the crowd erupted into boos. "It’s because women only direct women’s movies like 'The Hurt Locker.'"

The lack of female directors nominated at this year's Directors Guild Awards didn't go unnoticed. 

During Saturday night's ceremony, DGA president Thomas Schlamme was quick to address the controversy: "I caution us to use awards as the barometer, the only barometer, of progress — it’s just one measure. Doing so overlooks the hard work by so many." He also noted that the fight for equality is one "we’ve led for many years," and applauded the fact that "for the first time, half of TV episodes, 50 percent, [are] directed by women or people of color." 

The five feature-film directors nominated at this year's DGA Awards were Parasite's Bong Joon Ho, 1917's Sam Mendes, The Irishman's Martin Scorsese, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Quentin Tarantino and Jojo Rabbit's Taika Waititi. Little Women's Greta Gerwig, The Farewell's Lulu Wang, Harriet's Kasi Lemmons and Hustlers' Lorene Scafaria failed to land a nomination. 

Host Judd Apatow also made a quip about the snubs when he took the stage, making a reference to Katherine Bigelow — recognized as the first and only female helmer to win best director honors at the Academy Awards for The Hurt Locker. 

"I’m sad to say no women nominated for director this year," Apatow said as the crowd erupted into boos. "It’s because women only direct women’s movies like The Hurt Locker." 

Nicole Kassell briefly touched on the lack of nominated female directors while accepting the dramatic series honor for the Watchmen episode "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice."

"As a member of the DGA board and a citizen of the world, I must try to do all I can to see this room and the nominees reach equity," Kassell said. "The table of first-time filmmakers is simply gorgeous — this must become the norm."

The DGA Award snubs follow recent criticism of the Golden Globes for excluding women in the directing category, as well as the Academy Awards' lack of female director nominees.

The consistent snubs even prompted a response from Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman, who declared that they wouldn't stop fighting until women are given the recognition they deserve: "This is why Time's Up exists — to ensure women in entertainment and across industries get the opportunities and recognition they deserve. And we won’t stop fighting until they do."