Another year, another round of the Oscars snubbing female directors. While announcing the award show's nominations on Monday morning with John Cho, Issa Rae perfectly summed up a lot of painful feelings in four words: "Congratulations to those men." Her subtle shade is a nod to something far deeper. These men don't actually need her congratulations, they'll get plenty of it through the pure recognition that comes with being nominated. Directors like The Farewell's Lulu Wang, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood's Marielle Heller, Little Women's Greta Gerwig, or Hustlers' Lorene Scafaria, however, will go without the Academy's acknowledgment for their personal contributions to film.
The category instead includes directors Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite. I'm not denying the impact these men made with their movies, but in an especially strong year for women in film, it seems remiss to overlook their efforts. Rae's subtle shade echoes back to Natalie Portman's own "Here are the all-male nominees" from the 2018 Golden Globes — but what have we learned in the last two years? Perhaps it's time to drop the subtleties, preferably before 2021 rolls around. Watch Rae's quick and careful jab at the 9:40 mark, and then keep reading to see how Twitter reacted to the Oscar snubs.