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Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ broke the box office and won appreciation from everyone around the world. This simple story of womanhood and family resonated with the masses and while men showed dismay to it at the outset, so many of them reached out to her telling how they were weeping while watching the film and appreciated Gerwig for directing it. But what surprised all of us (well, not really) were the Oscar nominations that rolled out on January 13. The film Little Women received Oscars nomination in 6 categories – Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Score, and Best Costume Design. While all these nominations are great, one person whose ideation and efforts helped put it all together didn’t get any recognition at all. Greta Gerwig – the director of the film – didn’t get a nomination in the best director category. 

While it might come across as shocking in 2020, a closer look at the Oscar nomination trends reveals that this has in fact been happening all along. Ever since their inception in 1929, Oscars have known to be very racist and sexist as can be seen from their nomination patterns. 

While it might come across as shocking in 2020, a closer look at the Oscar nomination trends reveals that this has in fact been happening all along. Ever since their inception in 1929, Oscars have known to be very racist and sexist as can be seen from their nomination patterns. 

Sexist History 

Women’s Media Center found that women represent only 19 percent of non-acting nominations. In other words, in 19 non-acting categories, which include producing, writing, directing, costume design, and cinematography, women have received 327 nominations since 2006 while men received 1,387.

In Oscars’s history of 90 years, only 4 women have been nominated in the best director category and only one – Kathryn Bigelow – has ever won. This reveals how discriminatory oscars are for women as have always been.

In Oscars’s history of 90 years, only 4 women have been nominated in the best director category and only one – Kathryn Bigelow – has ever won. This reveals how discriminatory Oscars are for women as have always been. While Academy Awards have decided to credit more women for their work, it looks like a long journey based off of current trends. This is an industry-wide problem that the entire Hollywood has to sort together. 

Image Source – UN Women

Also read: Let’s Talk About Gender Expression In Hollywood And Bollywood, Shall We?

Racism History 

As can be seen, Hollywood and Oscars are a very sexist space. But coming to think about it, the situation gets even harder for racial non-white female actors. In an analysis of data by Venngage, 89% white women won the awards while black and hispanic actresses won only 9 and 3% respectively. The kind of roles that these racial actors play are also based significantly on stereotypes like the wise old woman who saves the race, or a seductive jezebel, or nasty thugs, etc.

Image Source – Venngage

Also read: How Performers From South Asia Are Working Towards A More Inclusive Hollywood

Campaigns such as #OscarsSoWhite have to an extent tried to awaken Academy Awards and have led them to take some action by increasing their nominations but there’s still a long way to go before Oscars become representative of all genders and races alike. 


Featured Image Source: ED Times

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