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The 2017 Oscars Still Lack Gender Representation Among The Nominees

01/31/2017 11:14 EST | Updated 01/31/2017 11:17 EST

The Oscars may have finally gone woke, but women are still not represented among the 2017 nominees.

This year, the number of women nominees in the non-acting categories was pretty laughable — if it wasn't so sad.

In a study conducted by the Women’s Media Center, it was revealed that out of the 189 non-acting nominees, only 37 of them were women. Put another way, that's 80 per cent of non-acting nominations going to men. The number of female Oscar nominees dropped by two percentage points since last year.

ava duvernay "Selma" director Ava DuVernay nabbed a Best Documentary Feature nomination for "13th."

Depressingly, no female directors were nominated for the seventh year in a row — the last time being at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010 when Kathryn Bigelow won for "The Hurt Locker" — and only one female screenwriter, Allison Schroeder, nabbed a nomination for her work in "Hidden Figures."

Other major categories such as cinematography and original screenplay contained no women nominees. The only category that had equal representation (aside from the acting categories) was Best Short Subject Documentary, where 50 per cent of the nominees were women.

The research also found that from 2005 to 2016, women accounted for just 19 per cent of all non-acting Academy Award nominations.

“Clearly, women cannot get through the door and if they cannot get through the door, they cannot be recognized — and rewarded — for their excellence and impact,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, in a statement.

This year's nominations did give us some small reasons to celebrate: Mica Levi, who composed the "Jackie" score, became the first woman to be nominated for Best Original Score in 17 years, the study notes.

mica levi

Composer Mica Levi attends the premiere of 'Jackie' at AFI Fest 2016.

And Joi McMillon became the first black woman ever to be nominated for film editing for her work in "Moonlight." Dede Gardner, a producer on "Moonlight," nabbed her fourth consecutive nomination this year.

Variety notes that nine women were nominated as producers in the best picture category, the most nominations for women in any category, and "Selma" director Ava DuVernay nabbed a Best Documentary Feature nomination for "13th."

joi mcmillon

Filmmaker Joi McMillon attends the 'Lemon' Premiere on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

But although these nominations are fantastic, Burton says the overall numbers aren't encouraging.

"We have a saying, ‘If you can see it, you can be it,’ but in the crucial behind-the-scenes non-acting roles, our ‘Women’s Media Center Investigation’ shows that what you see is 80 per cent of all nominees are men. Four out of five nominees are men — meaning male voices and perspectives are largely responsible for what we see on screen," she said.

kathryn bigelow Kathryn Bigelow was the last woman nominated for Best Director. She won for "The Hurt Locker" in 2010 — the first and only time (so far) a woman has won in the category.

Part of the reason for why women aren't being nominated is because they aren't given the opportunity to get behind the camera in the first place.

A recent study conducted by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film found that out of 2016's 250 top-grossing films, only seven per cent of them were directed by women. This is actually worse than 2015, when only nine per cent of the top-grossing films were directed by women.

Not only are women not being given the same opportunities as men, but increasingly, male directors who have little experience in their field are being handed the reins to blockbuster films.

female director

For example, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" director Gareth Edwards only directed his first feature film "Monsters" in 2010 on a relatively small budget of $500,000, and it only grossed $20,508 at the box office. A couple years later, he was tapped to direct the major Hollywood remake of "Godzilla."

Speaking of "Star Wars," it seems as if there won't be a woman directing Rey and Finn anytime soon. "Star Wars" producer Kathleen Kennedy noted last year that she doesn't think there's a woman ready to direct the mega franchise, saying that she wants an individual with "experience" — a requirement that doesn't seem to ever apply to men.

"We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do ‘Star Wars,’ they’re set up for success,” she told Variety. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

Come on, Hollywood, you can do better.

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