Golden Globe nominations: a failure of female representation in the entertainment industry

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Last year’s production of “She Kills Monsters” featured Assistant Director Grace Almgren and Stage Manager Abby Jones, in addition to Director William Myatt. PV Drama gives many opportunities for students to learn these important leadership roles.

Morgan Miller, Copy Editor

On Monday, Dec. 9, the Golden Globe Awards recognized excellence among movies and television shows from the past year. Of these recognitions, many of these masterpiece films left out a crucial part of the industry: women. 

In the past week, Megan Rapinoe has been named the Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year (only the fourth woman to win unaccompanied), Freweini Mebrahtu won CNN’s Hero of the Year and Greta Thunberg became Time’s Person of the Year. Nonetheless, the Golden Globes didn’t follow suit with female empowerment.

The 2019 nomination list did not consist of any female director or screenwriter nominations. For example, the Best Picture category included no films directed by women. In other categories, only sparse amounts of women were found, such as the one woman-directed movie in animated films (“Frozen 2” co-directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck) and two foreign language films (“The Farewell” and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”).

Film teacher Don Fry was disturbed by this year’s nominations. “It seems to be a trend to ignore females, especially directors,” he said. “It’s a crime that either Ava Du Vernay (“When They See Us”) and Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) were not nominated. I don’t know if it’s a money-box office thing or just plain bias.”

“Honey Boy” was a standout movie from 2019 that wasn’t selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which decides the nominees. In a viral tweet, the female director of the movie, Alma Har’él, said, “These are not our people and they don’t represent us. Do not look for justice in the awards system. We are building a new world.” 

The president of the HFPA, Lorenzo Soria, responded to the female backlash and Har’él’s tweet. “What happened is that we don’t vote by gender. We vote by film and accomplishment,” he said. 

However, this problem is not new. The Golden Globes have run for 76 years and in that time, only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director and only one, Barbra Streisand, has ever won, (for “Yentl”) in 1984.

Junior Uma Kasichainula is an avid movie watcher who agrees the film industry needs to change. “The only reason I’d surmise [that no women directors or screenwriters were included] is that they weren’t considered in the first place,” she said. “This is incredibly frustrating, especially considering the push women and people of color have been making to get more diversity and representation in Hollywood.” 

The importance of the Golden Globes is another point to consider. “The Golden Globes are fairly significant,” Fry said. “They precede all the other award ceremonies, setting both the attention and tone toward the selected movies. It’s kind of like the Iowa Caucus, thrusting the winners (and nominees) into the spotlight.” 

Fry also suggested that those in power should use their potential to create change, “The nominees and winners should also speak out…They should accept the award humbly whilst giving a deserving nod to those women who were snubbed.”

The Golden Globe awards ceremony will be hosted on Jan. 5, with Ricky Gervais on NBC. A full list of nominees can be found here.