During a discussion at Variety’s Sundance Film Festival, actress Carey Mulligan pointed out the troubling lack of diversity of the directors of popular franchises, as well as the underrepresentation of women — particularly women of colour — in the director’s category of award shows.
“If Dee (Rees) was a white man she’d be directing the next ‘Star Wars,’ she’d be nominated for an Oscar without question.” Mulligan stated, before going on to talk about how directors such as Greta Gerwig and Patty Jenkins have been “overlooked for too long.”
This is a sentiment that many have expressed in the run-up to award season; many felt that the lack of nominations for Greta Gerwig, Patty Jenkins and Dee Rees at the Golden Globes was a huge snub, especially as all of their films — Lady Bird, Wonder Woman and Mudbound — were critically acclaimed box office hits.
Mulligan highlighted that there was “something not right” with this picture and seemed to take the optimistic view that “people will react” if changes don’t occur soon. One can only hope that the film industry is moving in this direction, with the Me Too movement dominating our award shows and people like Natalie Portman standing on stage and directly pointing out that only men were nominated in the director category.
If people like Carey Mulligan continue to advocate for one of the most undiverse sectors of the entertainment industry, then maybe we will be able to change it. Maybe we’ll get a Star Wars film directed by a woman of color, and maybe the talents of our female directors will stop being overlooked.