The Golden Globes Have a Problem with Women Directors

Despite a banner year for female directors, including Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), no females were nominated for the HFPA's Best Director award.

by | December 11, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is in hot water for snubbing women directors despite this being a banner year.

Fans who were hoping to see Patty Jenkins, the director behind Wonder Woman, get a Golden Globe nod instead received the cold shoulder Monday from an industry that frequently overlooks the achievements of underrepresented women and minorities.

Dee Rees, who directed Netflix’s Mudbound, also got snubbed, as did Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Kathryn Bigelow (Detroit). All four films earned high Tomatometer scores from critics, with Lady Bird garnering the most acclaim at 99 percent Fresh.

Regardless of this, the HFPA nominated five male directors for the second year in a row, including Ridley Scott for All the Money In the World, Steven Spielberg for The Post, and Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk. Ava DuVernay was the last woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for best director in 2015. DuVernay is also one of only five women to be nominated in that category in the award ceremony’s 75-year history.

(Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Globes’ failure to nominate women directors only highlights a USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism report from last year that revealed, among other things, that men dominate the director’s chair by an extremely wide margin. Of the 107 individual directors represented in the top 100 movies of 2015, for instance, only 7.5 percent were women. In other words, there are 12.4 male directors for every one female director.

“The main thing the Golden Globes give a nominee is visibility,” tweeted Rebecca Keegan, the Hollywood correspondent for Vanity Fair. “Another reason why it’s depressing they went with an all male director category. Few women directors will achieve power of Spielberg, Nolan, Scott without the opportunity to be seen.”

Actress Amber Tamblyn also took Spielberg, Nolan, Scott, et al., to task on Twitter, questioning why the nominees didn’t rally for the women directors the HFPA overlooked.

“The men nominated here should speak to the fact that they don’t share this honor with a single woman in their category,” Tamblyn tweeted.  “That something is glaringly missing from this list. Be an ally. This is not acceptable.”

Keegan and Tamblyn were just a few tweets in a noteworthy collection.


The 75th Golden Globe Awards air Sunday Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC. You can see the full list of this year’s nominees here.

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