Why were only dudes nominated for ‘Best Director’ at the Golden Globes?


While this wasn’t the ONLY thing I was thinking as I wrote about Sex Predatorgate 2017, I did keep thinking that the now months-long scandal was going to restructure Hollywood, and that the current Oscar season would end up taking pains to acknowledge the work of women for a change. It’s been several years since Ava DuVernay was snubbed for Best Director Oscar nomination for Selma. Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, Valerie Faris and, of course, Barbra Streisand have all been notably snubbed for Best Director nominations over the years too. If there was ever a moment in time for Hollywood to at least make a cursory effort to recognize “women in charge” – i.e. female directors – it would right now. But the Golden Globes didn’t nominate Greta Gerwig for directing Lady Bird, nor did they nominate Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman, nor did they nominate Dee Rees for Mudbound. Perhaps there was just a slew of amazing directors and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just couldn’t decide? Or… you know, not that at all.

Despite a best picture, comedy or musical nomination for “Lady Bird” and widespread acclaim for its first-time director, Greta Gerwig, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. stuck with an all-male group for the 2018 best director nominations. In a year in which Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” and Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” also received universal praise — and in the case of “Wonder Woman,” massive box office as well, the slight was seen as significant.

Gerwig, who has acted in numerous films, had never directed a feature before “Lady Bird.” She did, however, score a screenplay nom for her original “Lady Bird” script. The Globes combine both adapted and original screenplays into one category.

The push to hire and recognize female directors has intensified in the wake of the Academy’s efforts to improve diversity and the massive sexual harassment scandals that are gripping Hollywood. Instead, the HFPA nominated Guillermo del Toro, whose “The Shape of Water” had the most noms overall, Martin McDonagh, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg. Spielberg previously won Globes for directing “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List.”

However, the Globe nominations weren’t all bad news for women directors. Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” did receive a best foreign film nomination. The Cambodia-set film’s dialogue is in Khmer, French and English. And “The Breadwinner,” directed by Nora Twomey, will compete in the best animated film category, along with “Loving Vincent,” directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman.

[From Variety]

I understand why Christopher Nolan was nominated for Dunkirk. I understand why Guillermo del Toro was nominated for The Shape of Water. But Martin McDonagh INSTEAD of Greta Gerwig? That’s like saying “we only like quirky, offbeat directors when they have a penis.” And Ridley Scott instead of Dee Rees? They’re saying “we only like period films about rich white people directed by white men, we hate it when it’s a period film about black folks directed by a black woman.” Plus, NO ONE HAS SEEN All the Money in the World yet! They literally just nominated Ridley Scott because he had the balls to edit Kevin Spacey out of his film at the last minute. As for Patty Jenkins snub… Jesus Christ. You can argue that Dee Rees and Greta Gerwig made “small” art films, but Patty Jenkins is literally out here making great action-adventure-romance-superheroine films with more than $800 million in box office revenues around the world. Oh well, at least no one at the Globes will have to deal with the very idea of a female director! #GlobesSoToxicMasculinity or #GlobesSoMaleFragility? The one thing I’ll say is that there’s plenty of time for the DGA and Academy Awards to right these wrongs. Also: Jordan Peele made one of the most original films of the year on a tiny budget. It’s not just about sexism, obviously – it’s about racism too, as we see with Dee Rees and Peele.

AFI FEST 2017 - Mudbound - Opening Night Gala

Mill Valley Film Festival Closing Night Awards with Greta Gerwig

Photos courtesy of WENN, covers courtesy of Variety & THR.

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54 Responses to “Why were only dudes nominated for ‘Best Director’ at the Golden Globes?”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Something something white male privilege something something.
    No directors or color and no women. And both categories made the best movies of the year

  2. grabbyhands says:

    Because this is 2017 and we can’t have nice things.

    For all their lip service, Hollywood is still about protecting the male execs and apparently this is how you strike back at mouthy women who dare to speak out.

  3. Mina says:

    Hollywood doesn’t vote in the Golden Globes, the international press does. Why you ask? One reason could be that they just didn’t think any women was better than the nominated men and felt they shouldn’t have to nominate just because of gender. Another reason, more in line with the GG voters, is that they try to bring more celebrities to their ceremony and that’s why all the directors nominated are well known for themselves.

    • Ninks says:

      Petty Jenkins has been pretty high profile this past year, she was front and centre in all the promotion for Wonder Woman. Jordan Peele has a high profile, thanks to his tv show. Greta Gerwig might not be an a-list celebrity, but she’s ‘known for herself’. The HWP want publicity and attention, a highly diverse shortlist of directors that included People of Colour and women would have gotten them loads of positive attention.

      • Mina says:

        You forget that this is the international press. Trust me, Greta Gerwig is known by pretty much no one outside the US, unless you’re a die hard indie movie fan. Her movies don’t arrive to international markets. Jordan Peele, same thing. He’s famous in the US, not outside. Patty Jenkins is only high profile because of WW, but most people still don’t know who she is. Ask anyone who Spielberg or Nolan are, and they’ll know. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s how the Golden Globes work. In the past, they’ve had some really ridiculous nominations (how to forget The Martian in the Comedy category or Angelina Jolie for The Tourist!!) just to get more celebrities in their red carpet.

        The GG are a good predictor because in the end, usually the right person wins, but there’s a lot of add ons for more TV ratings and prestige.

    • magnoliarose says:

      This is precisely the reason, and they are heavily bribed by studios, so you notice they are always big movies from studios with the backing to fête the reporters. It is somewhat corrupt, but they DO choose the films that have a buzz.
      However, knowing what we know about HW can conclude that might be why they had been good predictors before. The Academy Awards might be very different this year.

    • mannori says:

      HFPA are more “likely” to get manipulated by power players and “gifts”. Not that the Academy isn’t much better. But I could see salty dudes in suits making sure the boys club is alive and kicking. Scott and Spielberg SHOULND’T have gotten noms, but of course they would. Had a guy been the director of a 800mln and critical success on a 150mln budget as Patty did, or on Greta’s case a 100% rotten tomatoes and critically acclaimed little movie, the nomination should have been a given.

      • Mina says:

        Why shouldn’t they be nominated though? Have you seen their movies? Have you seen Greta’s movie? Are we really promoting nominating for any other reason than artistic value? Wonder Woman might have been a hit for the superhero genre, but let’s not kid themselves thinking it’s comparable to other great movies out there. Also, a good movie doesn’t mean great direction.

      • Sally says:

        Greta definitely deserved a nomination for Best Director, Dee, I’ve seen Mudbound and it was okay, but not Oscar worthy, not to say her next film won’t be Oscar worthy.

  4. Bobbymilly says:

    Glad Patty didn’t get a nom.

    Wonder Woman was long and overrated.

    • Nene says:

      Sooo overated. I feel like it got a lot of hype because it was a female superhero movie but compared to other superhero movies its average at best.

    • Grant says:

      I don’t know, I loved it… I thought the No Man’s Land scene alone merited a nomination.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Men get nominated for their mediocre or overrated work all the time. Why do people insist on holding women and minority filmmakers to higher standards?

      • Jussie says:

        But men don’t get nominated for comic book movies, even great ones. Logan and Thor: Ragnorak were significantly better films, and their directors aren’t nominated, nor was anyone expecting them to be.

        Blockbusters in general very rarely receive awards attention outside of technical categories, even when they’re really great pieces of filmmaking.

        Wonder Woman is a significantly flawed comic book movie. There’s absolutely no way it would even be part of the Best Director discussion if it was directed by a man.

    • sunnydeereynolds says:

      Same thoughts. The movie was good but it was nothing special or worthy of an award nomination.

    • Sally says:

      Wonder Woman was a”popcorn” film, those rarely get award nominations.

    • diana says:

      WW sucked. I am sorry but it doesn’t deserve a nomination neither for directing or acting.
      Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees and Kathryn Bigelow are a different story.

  5. Pedro45 says:

    The Globes are a joke. Greta was absolutely robbed and so was Kumail. Lady Bird and The Big Sick were two of my favorite movies of the year. Both movies are funny and sweet and sad and dramatic and real. Both showed a deep love and respect for their characters and showed how people can change and grow. We need these movies right now.

    Yes, I’m very worked up about this.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m with you.

      No one is saying *every single* film directed by a woman/POC deserves a nod, but when the *best, most acclaimed* films of the year, hands down, were made by women and POC, and they’re conspicuously absent from the nominations, then there’s a reason to be bothered and to examine it.

    • sunny says:

      Me too! Along with the Jordan Peele snub, I am so annoyed. The goal posts continue to move don’t they? The system is such BS.

  6. Div says:

    Lady Bird is the best reviewed film of the year and Mudbound is around 97% on RT. While RT isn’t always reliable, the more reliable metacritic also has Mudbound at an extremely high grade and there’s specific, very high praise for Dee Rees direction even more than the acting. I’m also surprised that Luca Guadagnino was snubbed.

    I believe the snubs are a combination of campaigning, white male privilege and the voting body “favoring” a type of film (a conventional drama usually with a British or American cast) with a few exceptions. For example, they’ll go for a well made, conventional Spielberg film over an equally or better reviewed film like Jackie or Moonlight most of the time. While there’s nothing wrong with rewarding conventional films, it gets irritating when that’s all they do 97% of the time. If the voting body treated all actors and types of films equally, Isabelle Huppert, Isabelle Adjani, and Viola Davis would have bucket loads of Oscars.

    • Nicole says:

      Agreed. And although male…Peele being shut out is ridiculous. Three best films of the year without question.

    • Jayna says:

      I watched Mudbound on Netflix, I don’t consider it a great movie, but a really strong, powerful, very good movie. Dee rewrote the original screenplay adapted from the book and did a great job directing it on such a grand scale on just a $10 million budget.

      What a great ensemble cast. The performances by all of the actors were outstanding. Mary J. Blige did a wonderful job, as did Rob Morgan and Carey Mulligan. But loved Jason Mitchell’s performance as Ronsell and his character’s scenes with Garrett Hudlund.

      Dee, a woman of color, is someone not only who can direct, but can write, so will always have a job in the industry in some capacity, keeping busy, keeping employed between directing gigs.

      Here’s a great inteview with her.


  7. Jessica says:

    1. Undervaluing the efforts of women even when they are masterful/backlash against the current moment. (Not every film directed by a woman deserved a nod, but you can’t tell me that *none* of them did. Especially when films directed by women and POC were the most acclaimed of the year.)
    2. These big name male directors are celebrities and they love celebrities at the Globes.

  8. Jussie says:

    I don’t think Patty Jenkins was snubbed at all. Wonder Woman was good, way better than the other DC films, but still a long way off being a great film. If we’re talking superhero films, Thor: Ragnorak, Logan and even Spider-Man: Homecoming were much better made. Taika Waititi deserved a nom way more than Patty, he made a genuinely great film with the ‘worst’ Marvel superhero.

    Spielberg and Scott don’t deserve their noms. They made the kind of films they could direct in their sleep. I’d even take out Nolan. Dunkirk’s not his best. Put in Greta, Dee and either Jordan or Taika.

    • Grant says:

      I didn’t like Thor: Ragnarok as much as Wonder Woman. I appreciated the tonal shift but I actually think I would have enjoyed it more if it was a little bit longer.

  9. Eric says:


    It’s still Hollywood

    • Don't kill me I am French says:

      No.GG is an association of less 100 journalists from international press working at LA

      • Eric says:

        I know when the give thanks, they say the HOLLYWOOD foreign press.
        Wheels are greased in LA. Still HW.

  10. Eliza says:

    GG always nominates the better known people, so their nominations are really a who’s who of people they want to get drunk with at the party. Up and comers very rarely get nominated in film categories unless there’s big buzz, but established names (Ridley, Spielberg, etc) will get nominated even if their work isn’t as good as their previous.

  11. Saks says:

    I think Greta Gerwing and Dee Rees definitely deserved!! Patty not so much on artistry but yes on box office results, but her not being nominated doesn’t bothers me as much as Greta and Dee. But as a Mexican I’m very happy for Guillermo.
    I’m still conflicted about Selma tho, because personally I don’t think the movie deserved a best director nomination that year BUT i’m sure that if that same film had been directed by a man, he would have been nominated so…

  12. A says:

    Somebody start an awards show excluding white men. I’m done waiting for them to include us when they throw us breadcrumbs every year. Majority viewers of these shows are women anyway!

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Good idea. Many of these institutions may not be redeemable. For myself, I am still angry that The Color Purple actors were shut out in 1985!

  13. Wolves says:

    I’ve seen Mudbound, Wonder Woman and first they killed my father; I had my money on Jolie and Dee Rees getting nominations because those were the best movies I’ve seen all year, they did such a good job.
    Reading that list of best directors I haven’t even heard of half the movies let alone seen anyone talk about them.

    I’m going to watch lady bird , Greta is just a goddess.
    Peele was robbed. That dude is a genius.
    Golden globes can always be counted on one thing, licking rich white old men butts ugh what happened to integrity…

    • Jussie says:

      3 of the nominated directors films aren’t out yet, and ones in limited release. Once they’re out you’ll be hearing about them.

      • Wolves says:

        i never understood the logic of nominating movies didn’t come out yet.

        And they always focus on movies that come out for the last 3 months of the year. The foundation their reward system is based on is deeply flawed.

  14. third ginger says:

    Please watch the Guild nominations, DGA and PGA, to see where actual Hollywood and the Academy are. I know most people don’t notice these, but they are a much better barometer than HFPA. The HFPA are notoriously eccentric and celebrity driven. In many cases they will take the either the old established name or hot property over the more obviously deserving. I think Jordan Peele is a genius and I have hope the Academy will see that.

  15. monette says:

    Surprise, surprise! They’ve learned nothing and nothing has changed.
    Stop the world, I want to get of!

  16. mannori says:

    they had no problem rewarding Hell or High water last year. And although I respect those who think the movie was good and I disagree bc for me it was a movie that just 5 years ago wouldn’t even achieved the B movie label, I get that there wasn’t much more to choose from last year. But then of course they chose it: it was movie about how working class white dudes had it so difficult in these times of corporate globalization, with terribly and really underdevelopment if not inexistent and bad written female characters filling in a bunch of cliches: the whiny ex wife, the prostitute and the sassy waitress. But oh it had pretty boy Captain Kirk! let’s nominate it! The quality of the movies they snubbed is ten times better than Hell or High Water.

    • KatieBo says:

      I quite liked Hell or High Water, which surprised me haha… to each their own, I suppose.

      • mannori says:

        it was an ok movie, the script and the direction being its main stars. But then it wasn’t particularly insightful in its social thematic and just a few years ago it would have been a movie straight to VOD, nothing really memorable about it: just another white dude movie with underwritten female and minority characters about how hard life is for white dudes. maybe its me and the peak of intolerance for movies we’ve seen thousands of times: it really getting boring when is just about white guys and in particular I was really frustrated by the cliched terribly written female characters and some sort of appeal to the Trump voter that movie had.

    • Parigo says:

      That movie sucked. Boring!

    • Annetommy says:

      I really liked HOHW. Chris Pine may be pretty but he was damn good in it.

      • mannori says:

        we’re so used to mediocrity and comic book movie franchises, shallow performances praised because buzz/hype/good campaigning by now that what some some years ago was as just “ok” now is the new “great”. Chris was good in the sense that it was surprising seeing he can actually perform…but great? IMO just ok.

  17. KatieBo says:

    I don’t think Ava DuVernay was snubbed at all. The direction of Selma was actually my least favorite element. I thought it dragged and lacked originality. Not that everything nominated was a work of genius, but Selma wasn’t particularly impressive.

    Historically awards shows hate Comic book movies so Patty Jenkins isn’t a surprise. I actually think the biggest oversight is Jordan Peele. Get Out was brilliant!

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      I said it to an above commenter and I’ll say it to you: we award mediocre work my white males ALL THE TIME. So why do we hold women and POC to a higher standard? If James Cameron could get a nom for AVATAR Ana DuVernay sure as hell should have gotten one for Selma.

  18. paranormalgirl says:

    The Shape of Water was AMAZING. But to leave out women directors when there were several of note is a crime.

  19. Sarah says:

    I think awards season should have both best male & best female director categories. That way, women might actually get recognised for their work. Something needs to change, otherwise women will always be snubbed in this category.

  20. mazzie says:

    HFPA used to/still gives votes to the studios/directors/stars who butter them up. It’s pay-for-play for a lot of them. Not all but a few.

  21. Mildred Fierce says:

    They also snubbed Luca Guadagnino, the gay director of Call Me by Your Name. The performances are, of course, outstanding, but it’s also such a beautifully directed film.

  22. BlueMoodyHues says:

    White people, men, poc, racism, patriarchy, yada, yada, yada.

    That and the films we’re very good. Forget about that.

  23. Deleted User says:

    I’m still waiting for the scrapping of the dubious Best Foreign Language category. Every year there’re a lot of non-English speaking films that are good enough to be in the Best Picture category that get snubbed. In fact some of them are often better than the English speaking films. Yet the powers that be only see fit to nominate non-English speaking films every couple of years. It’s all the more insulting when they pad out the Best Picture category at the Oscars with up to ten English speaking films, some of which are mediocre at best , and snub critically acclaimed non-English speaking films.