There’s no doubting that 2017 has been a strong year for women both onscreen and behind the scenes. Take, for instance, the Primetime Emmys, which saw women dominate with big wins for Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ava DuVernay, Master of None writer Lena Waithe and director Reed Morano.
On the film side, Sofia Coppola became the second woman ever to win the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Director for The Beguiled, while Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, is the best reviewed movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes. Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman earned over $800 million at the worldwide box office, far surpassing the recent wave of DC Comic films. Meanwhile, DuVernay finished production on Disney’s upcoming adaption of A Wrinkle in Time, becoming the first woman of color to helm a $100 million movie.
But when the nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes were announced on Monday, women were not among the names recognized for Best Director. Instead Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Steven Spielberg (The Post), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World) continued the long tradition of mostly men being nominated. Coppola, Jenkins as well as Dee Rees, who helmed Netflix’s Mudbound, were shut out, marking the first major awards show this season to completely overlook women.
The Critics’ Choice Awards recognized Gerwig and the Independent Spirit Awards counts Chloé Zhao (The Rider) among its nominees.But when it comes to the history of the Golden Globes, Barbra Streisand is the only woman to win the award, while DuVernay is the last woman nominated, in 2014.
“You have to make it a priority,” says Alan Yang, co-creator of Master of None on Netflix, and co-creator of an upcoming Amazon series starring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. On the latter, he adds that it was “very important that we get women directors onboard. As far as our writing staff, half of the people we hired are women. You have to make it a priority. I think we’re making progress, but we have a long a** way to go.”
His comments echo a sentiment Morano made to ET earlier this year, following the announcement of the Primetime Emmy nominees, which saw three female directors nominated in the same category. “It makes me feel like we’re getting closer, that [the field] will be saturated equally with men and women and it won’t be such a big thing, maybe, in 10 years from now,” Morano said. “It’s taking a long time.”
It should not go unnoticed, however, that three women -- Gerwig (Lady Bird), Liz Hannah (The Post), Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water) -- were nominated for the Golden Globes' Best Screenplay award in the same year for the first time ever. Not since 2005, when Diana Ossana took home the award with Larry McMurtry for Brokeback Mountain, has a woman won the category. The last woman nominated was Emma Donoghue in 2015 for Room.
How this will affect the rest of awards season, including the Oscars, remains to be seen. But it would be a shame if a woman fails to break through the male-dominated field in 2017.
The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, will be handed out live on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.