Actress Emma Stone meant well when she stood on the Academy Awards stage last night presenting the award for Best Director and pointing out the gender imbalance between the nominees.
Only one woman, Greta Gerwig, was nominated for her work in the critically-acclaimed film Lady Bird, alongside four other male contenders.
Stone’s jab, “These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year” was met, initially with a wry nod from those in the audience and across social media, alike. She, like many who’ve spoken during the 2018 awards season, was adding her voice to the message currently reverberating throughout the industry: “Time’s Up” for gender inequality.
Watch Emma Stone’s dig at men while presenting the Best Director Oscar in the video below.
But backlash followed.
Because alongside Gerwig, who is the fifth woman to ever be nominated in the Best Director category, there was also Jordan Peele, the director of Get Out.
Peele is the fifth African American to be nominated for Best Director in the 90 years since the awards began (last night he was also the first ever to take home an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay). As well as Peele in the Best Director category, there was Guillermo Del Toro, an immigrant from Mexico and the director of The Shape of Water, who became the third Latino to win the award.
Remembering, too, that no black woman has ever been nominated for Best Director.
LISTEN: The Time’s Up movement, explained. Post continues below.
“Intersectionality isn’t a thing that many white women do well,” April Reign, the creator of #OscarsSoWhite, posted to Twitter after Stone’s presentation. “Emma Stone (and those applauding her) are prime examples.”
Reign accused Stone of having a history of overlooking the way her work impacts people of different racial backgrounds. She referenced the actress’ role playing Asian/Hawaiian character, Allison Ng, in the 2015 film Aloha. She also criticised Stone’s apparent hypocrisy in working with accused sex abuser, director Woody Allen.
“I’m not here for the participation trophies and partial credit some are so eager to give out. Emma Stone made a movie with Woody Allen, played a whitewashed character, and erased the importance of two men of colour in a category. But she identified a woman, so…. yay?”