Over a decade since Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to win an Oscar in 2010, some filmmakers are now ready to “give up” on fighting for gender equity in the Academy.
Patty Jenkins reacted to the fact that there were no female filmmakers nominated for Best Director at the 2023 Academy Awards.
“I give up, I give up,” she told Variety ahead of this year’s awards ceremony. “I say that even with all of their push to have diversity. The numbers are just hugely imbalanced of who votes for these things. I sort of just stopped paying attention to it.”
Jenkins continued, “It’s still going to take a long ways to go. It’s going to take a lot more to really see truly more diverse awards. I really appreciate the efforts that they’re making but we have a long way to go.”
The “Wonder Woman: 1984” and “Monster” director was recently set to make her “Star Wars” franchise debut with “Rogue Squadron,” which was announced in 2020. However, the film was taken off of the Disney production schedule in November 2021 and officially shelved in March 2023. Jenkins was developing the project with writer Matthew Robinson (“The Invention of Lying”), but the project was delayed according to scheduling delays.
The 2023 Oscars immediately addressed the snubs of “Till” and “The Woman King,” both directed by women. “Till” director Chinonye Chukwu called out the “unabashed misogyny” of the film industry in a social media post.
“The Woman King” helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood spoke out on her film being shut out of the awards, penning in a Hollywood Reporter essay, “It’s not a snub. It’s a reflection of where the Academy stands and the consistent chasm between Black excellence and recognition.”
She continued, “As I moved through this awards season, I was struck by the Academy members who simply didn’t want to see the film. People thought it was a compliment at some of our screenings to tell me they had to be dragged there, because they didn’t think it was a film for them, or spoke of contemporaries who couldn’t be convinced to come with them, and being so surprised by how much they loved the film. To hear that over and over, it’s tough to stomach.”
An anonymous Oscar ballot shared with Entertainment Weekly referenced Prince-Bythewood as a “lady director,” to which she retweeted, “I will now answer to ‘that lady director’ and ‘that lady director’ only.”