Golden Globes: Ricky Gervais Tries to Call Out Lack of Female Director Noms, But Joke Falls Flat

In the categories of best director and screenplay, there were no female nominees.

During the Golden Globes on Sunday night, the lack of female nominations in the category of best director was referenced by host Ricky Gervais.

Before introducing the presenters, the comedian said, "A lot of controversy over our next category: No female directors were nominated this year. That's bad." He continued, "I’ve had a word with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and they have guaranteed this will never happen again. Working with all the major studios, [the HFPA has] agreed to go back to the way things were when they didn’t hire women directors. That will solve the problem. You’re welcome.”

The joke received no laughs from the crowd inside the auditorium.

This year's nominees were Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, Sam Mendes for 1917, Todd Phillips for Joker, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Similarly, no female writers were nominated in the category of best screenplay. The male writers who received recognition were Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story, Bong and Jin Won Han for Parasite, Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes, Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Steven Zaillian for The Irishman

Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time's Up, said Sunday in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter: "Even at this year's Golden Globes, which honored so many talented women in our community, there’s not a single best director nominee who is a woman, despite a record number of women-directed films in the past year. As today’s Golden Globes goes to show, women — and especially women of color — continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off."

Continued Tchen, "The omission of women isn’t just a Golden Globes problem — it is an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable. Time’s Up will continue to fight until talented female creators and artists get the opportunities and recognition they deserve."

According to a recent study by USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, 10.6 percent of the directors of the year's top-grossing films were women, which is the highest percentage in 13 years. Greta Gerwig's Little Women, Olivia Wilde's Booksmart, Lulu Wang's The Farewell and Melina Matsoukas' Queen & Slim were some of the prominent projects that drove the figure upwards.

At the 2018 Golden Globes, Natalie Portman called out the lack of female director mentions when she read out the nominees for the category, going off-script to bluntly state, "And here are all the male nominees."

The 77th annual Golden Globes aired live from the Beverly Hilton on NBC.

Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Golden Globes, shares a parent company with The Hollywood Reporter.