The Golden Globes has taken two steps forward in their acknowledgement of female directors in recent years, only to have taken about 20 steps backward with this year’s batch of nominations. For the first time in two years, not a single woman was nominated in the Best Directors category.
The 2023 Golden Globes will recognize directors James Cameron for Avatar: The Way of Water, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Baz Luhrmann for Elvis, Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, and Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans.
Ahead of the announcement of nominees, multiple female filmmakers were named as potential contenders, including The Woman King director Gina Prince-Bythewood, Till director Chinonye Chukwu, and She Said director Maria Schrader. Women Talking director Sarah Polley did, at least, receive a nomination for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture. She’s the only woman in the category.
Two of the biggest categories of the night, Best Film – Drama and Best Film – Musical or Comedy, carry 10 nominations across them. Of the set of films, none were directed by women. One of the few women-led films recognized in this year’s nominations is Turning Red, the Domee Shi-directed ode to fandom and growing up, which received a Best Animated Feature nomination.
The past two years have seen history-making wins for women directors at the Golden Globes. In 2021, Chloé Zhao took home the Best Director award for her work on Nomadland. Then, earlier this year, Jane Campion earned the same for The Power of the Dog. They join Barbra Streisand, who won Best Director in 1984 for Yentl, as the only women in Golden Globes history to win in the category.
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In the ceremony’s 80-year history, only nine women have been nominated for directing. Zhao’s win represented the first Asian woman to win for directing, and Regina King’s nod for One Night in Miami in 2021 made her the second-ever Black woman to be nominated, the first being Ava DuVernay for Selma back in 2014.
“As today’s nominations show, women — and especially women of color — continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off,” Rebecca Goldman, chief operating officer at the Time’s Up foundation, wrote in a statement in 2019, when no women were nominated for directing, motion pictures, or screenplays. “The omission of women isn’t just a Golden Globes problem — it’s an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable.”