Maggie Erekson, Features Editor

In the history of the Academy Awards, only five women have ever been nominated for best director and only one, Kathryn Bigelow, has won. For reference, this is the 92nd Oscars ceremony. 

Despite this being a great year for female directors, with movies like “Little Women”, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, and “Atlantics” all doing very well both in the box office and awards shows, no female directors were nominated. 

For example, “Little Women” was nominated in six categories, including best picture and best adapted screenplay, but director Greta Gerwig was not nominated for best director.

All this comes after the 2015-16 debacle where no actors or actresses of color were nominated. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took efforts to diversify their membership, doubling the amount of people of color in four years, but only from 8% to 16% according to Variety. 

Yes, the all male nominees are a problem, but there is something deeper that we need to fix before we can look at that. 

Part of the problem is that there are not as many female directors as male directors. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film, as of 2019, only 4 percent of Hollywood films were directed by women. This proves that the Academy is not the only one with a problem.

According to another Variety article, membership is 84% white and 68% male and that is not okay. Just because films do not appeal to a specific audience or fit a specific mold should not dictate whether they are seen as worthwhile cinema. It should not be up to one demographic to decide for everyone else what is good. 

Even more than diversifying the nominees, the Academy needs to diversify themselves. Great movies deserve to win, no matter who makes them or who stars. But we need to change what great means. Great should not be decided by a bunch of old white men because they are not the only people watching. 

All art means something different to every person and the fact that there are so many different, valid opinions is fascinating. So why are we focusing on just one opinion? We should be celebrating our diversity not ignoring it.