So many women were snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced on Monday morning you could slot their names into a parody of "Mambo No. 5" and still have room to cast several reboots of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Seriously, this year's nominations take "Oscars So White" to a whole new level. It's more like "Oscars So What the Hell Have We All Taken a Time Machine to 1950 and If So Can We at Least Bring Back Pillbox Hats?" Of the 20 acting slots—five each for Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress—19 are white performers. The one actor of color, Cynthia Erivo, was nominated for her outstanding performance as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. If you're a person of color angling for a top acting award, the Academy seems to be saying, "We'll need to really see you suffer."
For the umpteenth time, no women were nominated in the Best Director category. This is nothing new—Variety notes that only seven women have been nominated for Best Director Oscars in the awards show's history, including Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird in 2017. What is newish is the overwhelming number of movies by women directors that received high praise and Oscar buzz, but didn't cinch nominations: The Farewell by Lulu Wang, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Marielle Heller, Hustlers by Lorene Scafaria, Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma, Honey Boy by Alma Har'el, Harriet by Kasi Lemmons, Queen and Slim by Melina Matsoukas, Booksmart by Olivia Wilde, and Clemency by Chinonye Chukwu. Even Frozen II, codirected by Jennifer Lee, was left out of the Best Animated Feature category.
Absurdly, Gerwig's extraordinary adaptation of Little Women, nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (by Gerwig), Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), and Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), was shut out, begging the question: Who does the Academy think directed the movie?
It seems like no matter how groundbreaking, risk-taking, epic, historic, overall excellent, or timely a woman director's movie is, there is always some movie a man made about war or money or his own feelings that gets to jump the line.
Now, let's talk about all the exceptional women—disproportionately women of color—who should have been recognized for their acting by the Oscars in 2020.
Jennifer Lopez's tour de force performance as den mother, PETA defier, aerial artist, and champion of sex workers in Hustlers.
Awkwafina's listless, emotive star turn in The Farewell. And Zhao Shuzhen's joyful, memorable work as Nai Nai. And Diana Lin's radically underrated performance as Lu Jian, Awkwafina's character's mother. Awkwafina opened up about the Oscars snubs, both for her movie and other female-helmed movies, at the TCAs on Tuesday, January 14.
“We all are appreciative of how long this run has been," she said. "It came out a year ago at Sundance and we didn’t know where it would take us. So that feels like a win. Bottom line, there were some amazing performances this year and they were all warranted, but we can’t ignore women heralded some amazing films, including mine."
She added, “My emotional reaction to all this really is I’m grateful for this journey. We didn’t know if The Farewell would have a home, or anyone would buy [the film]. It’s so much more [than awards]…it’s the journey, so for that, for me personally, I think there’s always more work to be done, and I think I’ve had a pretty exciting ride, and with this ride and the movies we’ve seen this year, representation existed in those movies, and that’s what I know. But in terms of anything else, I can’t be more grateful to do what I love to do, and be recognized a little bit is enough.”
But other outstanding performances weren't recognized at all.
Lupita Nyong'o in Us. Ana De Armas in Knives Out. Alfre Woodard in Clemency. Beanie Feldstein in Booksmart. Lee Jung Eun and Cho Yeo Jeong in Parasite. Sure, there isn't room to nominate every woman who was superb. But there was seemingly plenty of room for half the blond actresses in Hollywood—and almost every 50 and older man.
And that's not all, folks: Ruth E. Carter, who rocked the silver screen with her costumes and subsequent win for 2018's Black Panther, was shut out this year for her work on Dolemite Is My Name. Even Beyoncé got snubbed: Her song Spirit, written for the live-action Lion King, didn't get a nod.
In happier news, Cynthia Erivo got a nomination for "Stand Up," the song she both performed and wrote for Harriet. And songwriter Diane Warren, who spent last year being dragged into interviews and asked whether the Ally songs in A Star Is Born are supposed to be good, got her comeuppance: Her song "I’m Standing With You," from the movie Breakthrough, got a nomination. It's Warren's 11th (!) Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, and could be her first win.
Finally, some justice for "Why Did You Do That" (to me).
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. Follow her on Twitter @JeanValjenny.
Originally Appeared on Glamour