Natalie Portman’s Oscars’ outfit speaks to the lack of female representation.

The Academy Awards, more popularly known as the Oscars, are awards given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to creators that display an international excellence in cinematic achievements. The category winners are awarded a golden statuette referred to by its nickname, the “Oscar.” While the Oscar statuette claims to represent the award’s prestige, it also signifies the Academy’s unfortunate history of male-dominated nominees.

Many have noticed The Academy Awards’ long-standing lack of diversity. This criticism has been highlighted on several platforms, prompting the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite across social media platforms. In response to this social media phenomena, the Academy claims to have “initiated” changes to address its pitiful rhetoric.

Some say that the victory for Parasite seemed to emerge at an appropriate time – finally a counter to the previous lack of diversity among Oscar nominees. This historical win proved that the Academy might be broadening its horizon. Might.

Despite the victory for Bong Joon Ho, it remains a fact that not a single female was nominated for Best Director this year. Although this is a sad sentiment that many have recognized, certain individuals made a point to speak up this award season. Natalie Portman, a popular actress and filmmaker, wore a cape lined with the names of female filmmakers who were not nominated for their directing, including Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), and Mati Diop (Atlantics).

Personally, it is amazing that the Academy is more open to recognizing Korean male filmmakers over American female filmmakers. That is not to say that Ho’s direction fell short of Gerwig’s. Instead, it is worth noting that although 32% of the Academy’s members are women, they are still not getting nominated in the directing category. Unsurprisingly, this discrepancy may be because there are not many women choosing the nominees.

We live in a narrative that oppresses the female voice and direction. It’s time for women to step into the spotlight. These talented filmmakers deserve to be showcased NOT on the capes of evening gowns, but rather on nominee lists and criteria.

-Teresa Mettela
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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