Natalie Portman's All-Male Directors Category Remark Prompts Quick Reaction

Jay Jacobs
January 9, 2018

During the 75th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night, presenter Natalie Portman made a point of calling the contenders for Best Director "the all-male nominees".

Oprah Winfrey had just given a fiery speech, promising girls and young women viewers that "a new day is on the horizon". As previously reported, almost every attendee at the ceremony wore black as a way of supporting the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and "Time's Up", a movement that fight against sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It has also established a legal defense fund for victims of sexual assault.

The statement won rave reviews on social media.

'And Natalie Portman is my f***ing hero, ' tweeted Evan Rachel Wood.

Some people were quick to praise Portman for highlighting the fact that female directors were overlooked.

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The Golden Globe Awards aren't generally known for their seriousness, yet yesterday's ceremony will go down in history. Folks, time's up. We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for director.

While the HFPA is nearly entirely removed from the "insider" industry precursors that traditionally line the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards (its membership encompasses roughly 100 journalists, not film professionals), it does offer invaluable visibility directly or indirectly. Kathryn Bigelow was next in line, and received a nomination for helming 2008's The Hurt Locker (the film that would ultimately shepherd her into the winner's circle at the Oscars) and again in 2012 for directing Zero Dark Thirty. "The three highest-grossing films a year ago were all carried by women".

A movie directed by a woman did end up receiving top awards.

Granted, there were plenty of female directors like Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees and Patty Jenkins that weren't acknowledged in this category, but others have argued that the five candidates simply made the better films.

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