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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Beyond ‘Barbie’: Oscar snubs ignite conversations about recognition in film

Greta+Gerwig+and+Margot+Robbies+Oscar+snubs+prove+that+Barbie+can+be+anything...+but+an+Oscar+nominee.
Alene Keppy
Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s Oscar snubs prove that Barbie can be anything… but an Oscar nominee.

The 2024 Oscar nominations have stirred both excitement and disappointment among film-enthusiasts worldwide. Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were notably absent from their respective categories, Best Lead Actress and Best Director, leaving critics and fans questioning the criteria behind these apparent snubs. 

Robbie, celebrated for her versatile performances, has two previous Oscar nominations under her belt. Robbie’s ability to bring complex characters to life has been a hallmark of her career, with previous Oscar nominations for her roles in “I, Tonya” and “Bombshell.” Despite her transformative performance in “Barbie” that captivated audiences around the globe, Robbie still found herself on the outskirts of this year’s Oscar conversation.

Gerwig, known for her directorial prowess, has been nominated for four total Academy Awards throughout her career, including this year’s nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Gerwig’s ability to craft complex characters and compelling narratives, as evidenced in “Barbie,” has earned her widespread acclaim. 

But the academy’s omission of Gerwig from the Best Director nominees has ignited debates about gender equality in the film industry and raised questions about the legitimacy of the academy’s selection process. Before 2024, seven women had been nominated for Best Director in Oscars history, with only three of those nominees actually taking home the prestigious award. This year’s nominees included one female director, Justine Triet, who directed “Anatomy of a Fall.”

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Critics of the academy’s selection process argue that there needs to be a more transparent and inclusive nomination system that considers a broader range of films and performances. As the film industry continues to evolve, the call for a reevaluation of the Oscar nomination criteria becomes increasingly urgent.

Caroline Sierk, a film, television and digital media major at UCLA, believes that creating a more diverse pool of academy members could lead to a more representative list of Oscar nominees in the future. 

“In the future, I hope that the academy continues to expand its board of voters– new voters are added every year as they continue to win awards and receive prestige and respect. I think as everything is, with young people entering the voter sphere, we will begin to see more representation and modern respect being employed when we see nominations,” Sierk said. 

The Oscars play a significant role in shaping the narrative of the film industry, and when deserving female talents are left unrecognized, it can be discouraging to young aspiring actors, directors and producers. 

Junior Kailee McCaw, director of the 10th and 12th grade one act “Kaleidoscope,” believes that it is essential to acknowledge the broader implications of Gerwig and Robbie’s snubs.

“I feel that these snubs are fairly discouraging to young female actors and directors alike. Allowing these talents to go unrecognized reveals the underlying stigma and sexism that is still present in the industry. These individuals put tremendous work into what they have done and their work deserves to be recognized just as much as their male counterparts,” McCaw said. 

As the conversation around the Oscar snubs gains momentum, it prompts reflection on the industry’s commitment to acknowledging excellence, regardless of gender, age, race, sexuality or mainstream popularity. 

Critics of the academy’s nomination process hope that the academy will take note of these concerns and work towards a more inclusive and representative future for the Oscars, in the hopes to inspire future generations of filmmakers. 

As a young director, McCaw hopes to see more mainstream movies directed by women.

“There are many incredible female directors in the industry, but that number is still drastically outweighed by that of men. Having more female directors would positively influence young women around the world because they would be able to realistically see themselves in the industry,” McCaw said.

In an era where storytelling plays a pivotal role in shaping societal norms, the importance of female representation in the film industry, whether in front of or behind the camera, cannot be overstated. The impact of on and off-screen diversity goes beyond mere entertainment; it influences cultural narratives, challenges stereotypes and serves as a powerful catalyst for social change. 

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About the Contributor
Alene Keppy, Feature Editor, Opinion Editor
Alene Keppy is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the Feature Editor and Opinion Editor for the Spartan Shield. At PV, Alene is involved with Spartan Assembly, A Positive Place, and Leading Tones Jazz Choir. Alene is also a member of the Girls Tennis Team. She enjoys baking and has a part-time job at Small Town Pastry. In her free time, Alene loves being with her friends, watching movies, and listening to music. 

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  • K

    KaleighFeb 11, 2024 at 10:59 pm

    This article was very well written. I agree, it is very amazing that women are being recognized for their hard work in the movie/film industry.

    Reply
  • E

    Ella HurstFeb 9, 2024 at 11:44 am

    I appreciate the highlighting of women at Pleasant Valley who are working or are planning to work in the industry of film-making and directing. Women deserve to be highlighted and acknowledged and this article articulates the need for representation.

    Reply
  • G

    Glenn PeleckyFeb 6, 2024 at 7:56 am

    Fighting sexism at all levels is a winning strategy. Your reasoned piece will be seen by an audience that will be creating the future. Nice work!

    Reply