Embroidered in gold on the cape were names such as Lulu Wang, who directed The Farewell, Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy).
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year, in my subtle way,” she told L.A. Times reporter Amy Kaufman.
Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women in Film, LA released a statement when the nominations were announced in regards to the lack of women in the Best Director category: “It’s disheartening that even as the number of women nominated for awards in documentary, short film, and technical categories increases, there have still only been five women considered for the Best Directing award in its 92-year history. The Academy has made efforts to balance its voting bodies, but gender equality and diversity do not just happen. Without deep systemic change in the industry and a real commitment to equity in film finance, distribution, and marketing, this bleak trend will continue.”
Only five women have been nominated for best director in Oscar history. Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have won a best directing Academy Awards, for 2009’s The Hurt Locker.
This year’s best directing nominees are Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Bong Joon Ho for Parasite.
You can watch Portman’s explanation below.