Spotlight: Marginalization of female filmmakers at Golden Globes Awards raises controversy

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-11 18:24:54|Editor: xuxin
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by Julia Pierrepont III

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The 77th Golden Globe Awards unveiled their nominations in Los Angeles on Monday to a firestorm of controversy, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) failed to nominate a single woman for Best Director, Best Screenplay, or Best Picture.

When careers are made and sidelined by the awards that are doled out by Hollywood's peers, this type of drastic snubbing is ruffling many feathers in the industry.

"It's unconscionable, in this day and age, that women filmmakers are still underrepresented and passed over for major awards," Jeff Most, an American film producer, told Xinhua.

The 77th Golden Globe Awards will air live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Jan. 5, 2020.

"They dare to say they don't judge by gender but that's exactly what they do. It's obvious they have no awareness at all," said "Honey Boy" director Alma Har'el, reported Variety.

Only five female directors have ever been nominated for Best Director in the history of the Golden Globes and only one has won the award, and that was over 35 years ago.

"I will not live my life as a filmmaker ... subjected to a group of voters that doesn't see us," said Har'el.

Her solution is to divide the Best Directing category into male and female directors, just like the actor categories are, to ensure that female directors get the recognition they deserve.

2019 has seen many talented women taking the helm and reaping nationwide recognition and handsome box office returns.

Lorene Scafaria's "Hustlers" grossed over 150 million U.S. dollars in the box office, Kasi Lemmons's "Harriet" grossed 41 million dollars, Marielle Heller's "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" gained 43 million dollars, Melina Matsoukas's "Queen and Slim" earned 27 million dollars, Olivia Wilde's "Booksmart" got 25 million dollars, and even Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" came in at a respectable 19 million dollars.

Though amongst the most successful and celebrated films of the year, none got so much as a nod from the 100 or so voters in HFPA who determine the Golden Globe nominations.

Rebecca Goldman, chief operating officer at the Time's Up Foundation, issued a statement to address this continued problem.

"As today's nominations show, women - and especially women of color - continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off," she contended. "The omission of women isn't just a Golden Globes problem - it's an industry-wide crisis, and it's unacceptable."

"Who directs feature films matters. It affects what stories are told - and how - with far-reaching implications for women across the film industry and our broader society," she concluded.

Actors of color fared poorly as well, with only nine nominated in the many acting categories, including Awkwafina ("The Farewell"), Ana de Armas ("Knives Out"), Antonio Banderas ("Pain and Glory"), Jennifer Lopez ("Hustlers"), Eddie Murphy ("Dolemite Is My Name"), Cynthia Erivo ("Harriet"), Rami Malek ("Mr. Robot"), Billy Porter ("Pose") and Ramy Youssef ("Ramy") .

There were some slight steps in the right direction for inclusion. South Korean-born Bong Joon-ho was nominated as Best Director, Best Foreign Film and Best Screenplay for his critically acclaimed "Parasite."

Lulu Wang's "The Farwell" which has a lot of Chinese language dialogue was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, earning appreciation from the Chinese community.

With pressure rising to address the inequality of opportunity and recognition for women and people of color, it remains to be seen if the #OscarsSoWhite industry conversation that led to extensive changes in Academy membership will have an impact on the Golden Globes any time in the future.