Winning an Academy Award has always been the highest honor someone in the movie industry can receive. But for years, viewers and industry professionals alike have been complaining that nominations and wins don’t quite match up with public opinion. Twitter is raging over the predominantly white male 2020 Oscars nominations, and they’re not wrong — with Joker earning 11 nominations, followed by The Irishman, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, and 1917 each earning 10 nominations, there’s a clear pattern. Films that feature white men both on and offscreen were highly rewarded this year, while female directors and breakout performances by women of color were once again overlooked.
You can take a peek at the full 2020 Oscars nominations here, while we dig into the surprises and snubs about which Twitter felt most passionate. First up: While female directors like Little Women’s Greta Gerwig, The Farewell‘s Lulu Wang, Husters’ Lorene Scafaria, and Honey Boy‘s Alma Har’el all pulled off incredible films this year, not a single one was nominated. In fact, in all 92 years of the Oscars, only five women have ever been nominated — and only one, Kathryn Bigelow, has ever won.
Understandably, Twitter was pissed.
No Greta Gerwig for ‘Little Women,’ no Lulu Wang for ‘The Farewell,’ no Lorene Scafaria for ‘Hustlers,’ no Melina Matsoukas for ‘Queen & Slim’ no Marielle Heller for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.’ Once again, the Oscars nominated five men for best director. #OscarNoms
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) January 13, 2020
I try not to put too much stock in award shows but it's still demoralizing to regularly see deserving women filmmakers get shut out of the Oscars
— priscilla page (@BBW_BFF) January 13, 2020
Good morning to all women directors but especially Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang, Lorene Scafaria, Melina Matsoukas, and Marielle Heller
— The Wing (@the_wing) January 13, 2020
"Little Women" got nominations for best picture, writing, acting, and was among the best reviewed films of the year and yet no directing nom for Greta Gerwig.
Kinda weird that all pieces are there, but I guess they were brought together in a vacuum.#OscarNoms
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 13, 2020
In addition to all the female directors who were snubbed, several notable performances by women of color were shut out too, like Jennifer Lopez’s performance in Hustlers, Awkwafina’s performance in The Farewell, and Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in Us. (Actresses who did get nominated included Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie. Cynthia Erivo was the only woman of color to be nominated in any acting category.)
Men of color similarly had key performances snubbed: In fact, all five nominees for Best Actor, and four out of five nominees for Best Supporting actor, are white. Twitter wasn’t afraid to call out these oversights — and the racist attitudes they think informed them.
I like Charlize Theron a lot, but was she better in Bombshell than Lupita Nyong'o was in Us? It is to laugh.
— Linda Holmes (@lindaholmes) January 13, 2020
i genuinely think not nominating j lo is rooted in racism and sexism about the kinds of performances the oscars deem worthy of praise doNOT @ me
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) January 13, 2020
scarlett johansson being nominated for an oscar while lupita nyong'o is snubbed is literally white privilege
— angel (@dykesinfilm) January 13, 2020
to think that Halle Berry is the only black actress to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role. No Angela Bassett. No Viola Davis. No Lupita Nyong’o. No Octavia Spencer pic.twitter.com/Kl6JshN3Hs
— c (@chuuzus) January 13, 2020
Sterling K. Brown
Kelvin Harrison, Jr.
— ahmad (@ephwinslow) January 13, 2020
Finally, Twitter is perplexed about the total exclusion of fan favorite Uncut Gems from the 2020 nominations — but luckily, star Adam Sandler took a lighthearted approach to the snub.
Uncut Gems not getting a single Oscar nomination is ridiculous. It’s because Adam Sandler is Adam Sandler that they couldn’t just look at his incredible acting and sports theme always hurts. Utter garbage.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 13, 2020
Eddie Murphy & Adam Sandler should do a live comedy special the night of the Oscars.
— Mark Ellis (@markellislive) January 13, 2020
Bad news: Sandman gets no love from the Academy.
Good news: Sandman can stop wearing suits.
Congrats to all my friends who got nominated, especially Mama. pic.twitter.com/o1Ep3E7GRB
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) January 13, 2020
“Bad news: Sandman gets no love from the Academy,” he writes alongside a photo of Kathy Bates, who played his mother in Uncut Gems and was nominated for her role in Richard Jewell. “Good news: Sandman can stop wearing suits. Congrats to all my friends who got nominated, especially mama.”
Overall, Twitter is comparing this year’s nominations to Green Book sweeping the Oscars in 2019, a project also created predominantly by white men. Last year, many felt that Green Book was being recognized at the expense of other worthy films, and had only snagged its wins due to underlying prejudice toward women and people of color by Academy voters.
It remains to be seen how this outcry will affect Oscars viewing numbers. But at a certain point, we have to hope the Academy will listen to the mass disappointment and set out to make a change. In 2020, we can no longer pretend that women and people of color just aren’t making movies as well as white men are. There’s a reason that white men are always, always overrepresented in these nominations — and it’s not because they’re the only ones with talent.