The nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning and no women were nominated in the category of best director.
The nominees were Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Jenkins is the only man of color nominated this year.
Since the first Academy Awards in 1929, only four women have been nominated for the best director Oscar: Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker). Bigelow is the only woman to have won the award, back in 2010, making the ratio of female to male winners 1 to 88.
These numbers matter to gender equality, beyond just the role of director. The same study, as The Hollywood Reporter pointed out earlier this month, analyzed the top 500 films and showed a correlation between female directors and the gender of other crewmembers. On films with female directors, women accounted for 64 percent of writers. That number dropped to 9 percent on films with exclusively male directors.