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The Oscars may be less white, but they’re still sexist

Gone are the days of the white Oscars. Well, at least, for the most part. 

The pressure has been on the Academy for years to change their pool of nominees from solely honoring brightly shining white characters that always seem to be front and center to including the diverse filmmakers and cast that are usually shunned behind the curtain. 

Bong Joon Ho’s genuine reaction to “Parasite winning the highest achievement at the 2020 Oscars makes the historic win even more memorable. Ninety-two years of Oscar history, and “Parasite was the first non-English film to ever win the coveted Best Picture award. The film, about the wealth disparity between two South Korean families, also won Best Director, Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay. 

But racist tendencies of the Academy are not the award show’s only issues. 

Enter writer and director Greta Gerwig. Gerwig embodies a soft new wave of cinematic genius – the personal touch of “Lady Bird” completely revamped the strained mother-daughter Hollywood storyline – and yet, she has been snubbed for at least three Oscars in her time. All of those Oscars? Conveniently taken by men. 

Gerwig’s critics argue that she shouldn’t just win because of her sex. If she’s going to play with the professionals, then she’d better be talented. To them I say, yeah, that’s what I think, too. Filmmakers shouldn’t win Oscars based purely on the color of their skin or which gender they are. But that’s not the issue here. In Gerwig’s case, the talent was there, and the Academy was well aware of it. 

Little Women” (2019) was nominated for three of the big five Oscar awards (it would have been four out of five, but there was no nomination for Best Actor because, you know, Little WOMEN). If the Academy recognized that Gerwig had talent enough to be nominated for over half of the big five, then why did they refuse to recognize her individual talent as a director? 

The Oscars have had a long history of being exclusive when it comes to minority groups and women in general. But Gerwig’s blatant exclusion from the Best Director round table shows that the Oscars are not ignorant, they are spiteful. 

Men cannot handle or fathom that women can be successful. 

There’s a reason Katherine Bigelow, director of “The Hurt Locker,” is the only woman to have won best director in the history of the Oscars – if men award women for being accomplished in male dominated professions, then it’s all over. Men will have lost their power, and the female agenda will have won. If they keep women in their place, then they keep the power of the Hollywood arena free and flowing to their advantage. 

Not surprisingly, men aren’t just against women winning in male-dominated categories, they want women to win where it makes sense that women would win. For instance, take two of 2019’s more popular movies, “Bombshell” and “Little Women.” In what categories did these two movies win? 

Makeup and Hairstyling and Costume Design, respectively. 

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Men still somehow found a way to keep women busy with sewing and beauty. 

It’s fantastic that these individuals won these awards (and, in fact, the “Bombshell” winner for Best Makeup and Hairstyling included Kazu Hiro – a man), but the symbolic shunning of women from the Oscars has to stop. 

Greta Gerwig deserved to stand among big names like Tarantino and Scorcese, and all of the equally talented directors of the year. Her film was clearly good enough to land six Oscar nominations, yet her genius directing capabilities weren’t enough to even get nominated for Best Director. 

There’s nothing wrong with “Parasite winning what is considered the Oscars’ main award. In fact, it’s fantastic that the Academy has taken the initiative to overthrow their discriminatory actions. Their racial discrimination still has work to be done, and it should be a constant effort to solve this problem. 

But someone has to give. Women have to receive the recognition that they deserve because they deserve it. 

They’ve worked hard. 

Harder, perhaps, than some of the men who get nominated based purely on their name, not on their talent. 


@maggieloup

penaml@miamioh.edu 

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