Iconic women of Hollywood: Hepburn, Monroe, Farrow, Hayworth, Taylor, Garbo, Garland, Dench, Mirren, and Streep... but although women are celebrated, they are still treated as the second sex in Tinsel Town, especially in award shows meant to recognize their efforts.
In acting we are seeing real strides made, with three women of color starring in Hidden Figures, Ruth Negga starring in Loving, and the all black casts of Moonlight and Fences but some double standards are still noticeable. For example, an argument can be made that Viola Davis' character in Fences is analogous to Emma Stone's in La La Land, not at all in substance but in screentime and importance to the plot, yet Stone's nomination falls under "lead" actor while Davis' falls under "supporting."
If you are a woman of color, your achievements and your chances of a prominent Hollywood position are slim, and then recognition of your work in that capacity are even slimmer.
The progress of on camera inclusiveness has not been accompanied by off-camera categories in the slightest. On Tuesday morning, NPR said there was has been a 2% decrease in female non-acting representation compared to the 2016 Awards. The Women’s Media Center “finds that 80% of all non-acting nominees are men” with no female directors, cinematographers, or screenplay authors on the list. No women have ever been nominated for cinematographer, making it the only category that has only honored men.
Joi McMillon, the co-editor of Moonlight, is the first African-American woman to be nominated for best editing. “As an assistant, you can be waiting around for a good 10 years [...] The feature world is dominated by a lot of men, which makes it that much harder,” McMillon tells IndieWire of her decade as an editing assistant on reality TV shows and Tyler Perry movies before making the jump to feature film editor.
Mica Levi, the genius behind the haunting score of Jackie, is the first female nominated for a score since 2000. Meanwhile, the music by Lesley Barber for Manchester By The Sea receives no nods from the Academy, nor does the movie's superbly subtle editing by Jennifer Lane.
According to Forbes, "only 4 women have ever been nominated for best director Oscar. Only one, Katheryn Bigelow, has won." Ava DuVernay is nominated for best documentary for 13th but did not make the list as director for Selma, even though it ran for Best Picture.
And for the love of god, if one of these women wins in their category — and I sure hope they do — let’s not have a repeat of last year where all the men were disgusted at Jenny Beavan’s take-no-shit unglamorous strut to the podium to accept her Mad Max Fury Road costume design Oscar.
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Jen Pitt, originally from Brazil, is a Brooklyn based writer and performer. She covers feminism, arts, and Brazilian culture.