“The 2019 Oscar nominations were disappointing for women behind the camera,” the group wrote in its report (read it here), “with no women nominated in directing, cinematography, editing, original score, and visual effects and only one woman nominated in animated feature film and in each of the two writing categories. Industry-wide efforts to improve gender parity have had some impact, but not as much as anticipated.”
The report’s findings are identical to those Deadline reported on January 22, shortly after the Oscar nominations were announced.
“A nomination for an Academy Award can open doors,” said Jane Fonda, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center. “With three out of every four non-acting nominations going to men, women, again, are missing that stamp of approval.” Fonda has won two acting Oscars and been nominated for five others.
“In a year with so many films made by women, it is a blow for an industry that seemed to be heading in a different direction after last year’s nomination of Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird and mobilization around the Time’s Up and Me Too movements,” the report states. “Instead, no woman director was nominated, and no film directed by a woman was nominated.”
Said WMC president Julie Burton: “Again this year, women’s talent has not been recognized in many of the most powerful behind-the-scenes categories such as Directing, Cinematography, and Editing. Since the Women’s Media Center started counting the number of women nominated for non-acting Academy Awards as of 2006, the overall percentage of women nominees has increased from 18 to 25 percent. By that calculation, it will take another 50 years for women to be equally represented by the Academy. We need industry leaders to get on board and hire more women, especially women of color, in front of and behind the camera.”
More from the report: “What seems clear is that when productions have made an effort to hire women on films, and those films then are considered for Best Picture, that increases the overall number of female nominees. … Some studios have made strides in how they’re handling gender parity. Disney, in particular, has taken dramatic steps to break up the boys’ club at Pixar, its acclaimed animation studio, with Dream Big Princess, a program that selected 21 girls and women from 13 countries to develop shorts.”
And for the first time ever, a female-directed Pixar short – Bao – has been nominated for an Oscar. It was the first of 35 short films made by a woman at Pixar.
“Overall, this year, while there aren’t the high-profile nominations for women that often make news, such as Best Director or Cinematography, some of the individual crafts categories do show an uptick for women,” the report concluded. “This is especially true in the short film categories, a fertile ground for future filmmakers. For the future, there is hope that movements for representation and equality, such as those represented by #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoMale, and the efforts of powerful actors to have ‘inclusion riders’ written into their contracts, will shift these numbers for diverse women going forward. But the Oscar nominations in 2019 do not yet reflect the gender parity or racial inclusivity activists are aiming for.