The Golden Globes Snubs May Be A Sign Of A Hollywood Backlash Against Women

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On January 7, 2018, the 75th Golden Globes will air amidst a time in which the entertainment industry remains mired in controversy. Titans like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Russell Simmons, Kevin Spacey and many more have had their careers engulfed in flames after decades of sexual assault, misconduct and charges of rape were alleged by dozens of women. Much like the diversity controversy driving last year’s #OscarsSoWhite movement, the #MeToo campaign has dominated headlines and will undoubtedly define the timbre of next month’s awards ceremony as actresses like Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, Rose McGowan and more come forward with allegations that implicate an entire industry. But in the same year a woman namely, Oprah Winfrey will receive the Cecille B. deMille lifetime-achievement award, the Golden Globes failed to nominate a single woman for director of the year, despite 2017 being a watershed year for women behind the camera.

Nominees for Best Director of a Motion Picture are Martin McDonagh, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro; similarly, all five nominees for Best Motion Picture (Drama) come from male directors (Call Me By Your Name; Dunkirk; The Post; The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Four out of the five nominees for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) are directed by men (I, Tonya; The Disaster Artist; Get Out; The Greatest Showman, with Lady Bird representing the only female-directed motion picture considered for an award. That film, released in early November, made headlines that suggest its director, Greta Gerwig, should have been a contender for Best Director. As reported by Slate, “With 170 positive reviews (and counting), Lady Bird is now the most-reviewed film to hold a 100 percent rating on [Rotten Tomatoes],” besting the previous record holder, Toy Story 2. Gerwig is, however, nominated for Best Screenplay as are Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water and Liz Hannah for The Post.

Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, is absent from the list of nominees at the Golden Globes. Its a particularly noteworthy film because Jenkins is the first female director of a live-action, theatrically released comic book superhero film, not to mention it was a box-office juggernaut. Also missing from Golden Globes nominations entirely is Girls Trip, a film representing the blockbuster power of women. Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and breakout star Tiffany Haddish helped launch the comedy into Hollywood history as the first 2017 comedy to gross $100 million domestically. Written by two women, Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, it was described by the Washington Post as being proof “that movies starring Black women can crush at the box office.”

In an era when the women behind the #MeToo movement (called “The Silence Breakers”), including its creator Tarana Burke, were named Person of the Year by Time magazine, one could argue the tide is turning for women who’ve been silenced into deference and suffering by their abusers and the systems which uphold patriarchal structures. The lack of female names in the Best Director category of the Golden Globes is a small but deafening example of that insidious obstruction in many women’s paths and only echoes similar trends of years past (the 2017 Golden Globes also overlooked women in the category). Whether we are witnessing a backlash against women for bringing down industry giants as big as Weinstein remains to be seen but there are already rumblings of a protest movement at the awards ceremony itself, which if executed will make it impossible to ignore the issues at play.

Vanity Fair has reported that many women are planning on wearing black to January’s event in “silent protest” of Hollywood’s mistreatment of women. Rose McGowan, one of the first women to come forth with allegations against Weinstein, tweeted in response “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy,” calling him “The Pig Monster” and referencing a clothing line founded by his ex wife.

In addition to the opportunity for silent protest, the ceremony will provide winners and presenters with stage time in front of millions and some are likely to use the time to speak against Weinstein and others on live television. Pass the popcorn.