First the Twitterverse, now Trevor Noah thinks the Academy has some explaining to do after this morning’s Oscar nominations.
The comedian expressed his frustration Monday night on The Daily Show over the fact that no woman was nominated in the directing category.
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Noah began by recapping the nominations with a clip of John Cho and Issa Rae making the announcements. Rae revealed the best director contenders and commented, “Congratulations to those men.”
Like many social media users, Noah thought Rae was throwing shade with the remark after she announced the nominees — The Irishman, Martin Scorsese; Joker, Todd Phillips; 1917, Sam Mendes; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino; and Parasite, Bong Joon Ho.
“Wow, Issa Rae. Damn!” Noah said. “You know you’re in trouble when someone can throw shade by congratulating you.”
If Rae was sending a message with her comment, Noah said he understands why.
“Those aren’t just all male directors, those are all very male movies,” he said. “If you take out Parasite, women probably have 10 minutes of dialogue in all the other films combined. There’s no reason women shouldn’t have bigger roles in these movies, except for 1917, because women weren’t invented until the ’30s.”
“Where is Little Women?” he asked to applause. “Personally, I loved the movie. Also the Oscar voters loved the movie, which is weird. It’s really strange because it was nominated for six awards… but then somehow Greta Gerwig wasn’t nominated for director.”
“How the hell does that happen?” he asked. “Was it just two people who were like, ‘What an amazing movie?’ ‘Yeah, did you know the movie directed itself?’ ‘Wow, that’s incredible.'”
The jab about the film directing itself followed widespread complaints on Twitter today, as fans, film critics and cinephiles asked how it was possible that Little Women picked up nominations for best picture, best actress, best supporting actress, best adapted screenplay, best costume design and best original score, but Gerwig was ignored. Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman also told Deadline earlier in the day that “the movie didn’t direct itself.”
Noah then shifted his anger to the lack of actors of color getting nods. He congratulated Harriet star Cynthia Erivo, the only black actor to receive a nomination. But he took aim at the Academy and repeated a frequent complaint among African Americans that black actors rarely get nominated unless they play a servant or slave.
“I’m glad that at least one black woman was nominated for best actress,” Noah said.
“Although it is kind of predictable that it was for playing a slave,” he added. “I’m not saying she didn’t deserve it. But just imagine if every white actor that was nominated got it for playing a supervisor at Whole Foods. Huh? White people, you’re more than just that.”