Toward the end of Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony, Natalie Portman and Ron Howard were tasked with presenting one of the evening’s more prestigious awards: Best Director. But rather than engage in the same dry banter viewers have come to expect from awards shows, Portman decided to use her brief time onstage to make an important statement about the industry she’s worked in her entire life. “And here are the all-male nominees,” she declared to a mixture of knowing groans and a smattering of applause.
Then viewers were treated to some delightfully awkward reaction shots of the very uncomfortable-looking male directors in attendance.
Portman’s statement was much more than a quick jab in a year when every woman at the Golden Globes wore black in solidarity against systemic sexism and the entertainment industry at large, particularly when deserving directors like Patty Jenkins and Dee Rees were snubbed (for Wonder Woman and Mudbound, respectively). But the fact that Lady Bird went on to win Best Motion Picture, Musical Or Comedy but Greta Gerwig wasn’t considered for Best Director really speaks to the disparity.
This theme was once again underlined by Barbra Streisand during the night’s final award presentation, in which she reminded the audience that she was the last and only woman to receive the award for Best Director and it was for her film Yentl, 34 years ago. “Time’s up!” she declared to cheers and applause from the women in the audience.