Are The Oscars Less Sexist This Year? A Breakdown Of The 2018 Nominations

2018 Oscar Nominations came out this morning, which means you’ve already seen them if you give any kind of a shit (if you don’t but now you’re embarrassed, the list is included here). That being said, most women have not been kept up at night wondering whether Blade Runner 2049 will be nominated for sound editing—we’ve been wondering whether the combined forces of #MeToo and #TimesUp (or “The Weinstein Effect,” as Deadline refers to it) were enough to get Hollywood to start paying attention to the women they’ve overlooked. And while a small, solid gold statue isn’t exactly turning back the clock on inequality, it’s a lovely gesture that every one of us would accept, and a lot better than anything the US Government has offered up as its own sexual assault dirty laundry has been aired. In light of the revelation that Hollywood is a criminal hell pit of highly confident rapists recent events, let’s take a closer look at how the Academy’s nominations played out (specifically, men v. women nominated, duh). 

Overall Nominations: The Numbers

After analyzing every single person specifically (aka excluding Best Picture/Best Foreign Film) given an Oscar nomination this year, I reached the following conclusions: 1) Hollywood names are gender neutral AF (or maybe just men’s names, since every name I Googled to make sure wound up being a man) and 2) there’s been some progress, but this list is still laughably male-oriented. The breakdown: 66 of the nominations handed out were for men/all-male groups, while only 42 nominations were given a group/individual involving even a single woman. On the individual level, it’s even worse—44 women were nominated, compared to 136 men. This means most of the teams nominated had a gender ratio that shouldn’t be seen outside of Bachelorette group dates (aka 12 men to 1 woman), and also means that Hollywood still seems to have a hard time trusting women to make movies all on their own. Sigh.

The Worst Categories

While I’ll never demand that women go into a profession that forces them to sit in a dark room all day for the sake of equality (*cough* Sound Mixing *cough*), I’ll also never err on the side of assuming fewer women are in a certain profession for a lack of interest. Traditionally, institutional misogyny plays more of a role in blocking women from certain roles, so I’ll go ahead and drag the following categories with a clear conscience. For Sound Editing, we have 9 male nominees and 0 women. For Sound Mixing, we have 15 male nominees, and 1 woman (somehow even worse?). For Original Score, we have 5 men and 0 women. For Visual Effects, TWENTY men, and 0 women. And of course, for both Directing and Cinematography, 4 men vs. 1 woman (though at least Greta Gerwig’s Golden Globe snub was reversed, and Rachel Morrison is actually the first female cinematographer to EVER be nominated. Wow).

The Best Categories

And the reverse categories! In Costume Design, we have 3 women nominated and 2 men. In Production Design, we have 5 women nominated and…oh wait, still 5 men. I thought Original Screenplay was one of the better categories too, but turns out that’s 3 women and 4 men. And Animated Feature, where 4/5 nominees included a woman on the team? 4 women, 8 men. Okay, I’ve sensed the pattern and give up. Costume Design is the only category for 2018 where more women are nominated than men. Jesus.

The takeaway here? While it’s very nice of the Academy to take a year off from showering Woody Allen in gold, and take a cue from James Franco’s sexual assault allegations that it was okay not to like The Disaster Artist, there’s still a long way to go in terms of creating a genuinely equal workforce in Hollywood (spoiler: the race breakdown on this list looks even worse). So let’s hope all the badass women who did make this list go on to win, be promoted, and start some female-dominated studios—if for no other reason than the fact that I’d love to see the female version of an Entourage movie in 2020.