OK, Hollywood: Where Are the Women Oscar Nominees?

4 years ago

This Sunday is the Oscars! So let’s take a look at how the women are faring in the film industry, shall we?

First, have you been following the flap over director Kathryn Bigelow being snubbed by the Academy? The acclaimed director of “Zero Dark Thirty” didn’t even get a nomination, even though her film received a best picture nod. And Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood isn’t happy about it. For the second year, she’s put together a video addressed to the Academy highlighting their sexist treatment of female directors.

But the talented Bigelow--who became the first woman in Oscar history to win the best director award in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," her gut-wrenching portrayal of the Iraq war--is far from the only woman in Hollywood who got ignored this awards season. As the Women’s Media Center summed it up this week: Where are the women?

Credit Image: FICG.mx on Flickr

Last year, there were six Academy Awards categories with no women nominated at all. This year, that figure is up to seven. The numbers tell their own story: across all categories, 2013 nominees total 140 men and just 35 women. That’s just not good enough.

No, it isn’t. The slap seems particularly egregious and jarring considering that the late Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplay for "When Harry Met Sally" and directed "Sleepless in Seattle" among other fabulous romantic comedies, will be honored in a video tribute during the Oscar broadcast.

This week Women in Media launched its own Oscar campaign of sorts to protest the appalling absence of female nominees, the gender gap in Hollywood, and what can be done to ensure more women are represented.

One of the events they’re doing is an episode devoted to women and film on the
CBS radio show Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan. The show features Morgan and a terrific panel of female players in Hollywood, including Melissa Silverstein, Keri Putnam of the Sundance Institute, and actors Kathy Bates and Jane Fonda.

Women’s Media Center will also be posting commentary and tweeting all week under the hashtag #Oscar Women. On Thursday the conversation was going strong.

You can also put in your two cents Sunday night during the live broadcast at #OscarWomen, beginning at 5:00 pm on the West Coast. Let’s hope next year we’ll be bemoaning less the dearth of women nominees and women’s films and get back to what’s really important: scrutinizing the fashions.

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