While the focus may have been on the snubs and surprises, the 2018 Oscar nomination ceremony included an exciting update that you might've missed. In between the nominees for the technical categories, read aloud by Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis, the Academy played short Oscar-themed videos featuring women in Hollywood. "We're going to showing you a few short videos to introduce some of the categories," Haddish said, but what the Girls' Trip star didn't point out, perhaps intentionally, is that these videos entirely spotlighted women.
And if you didn't realize that these clips only included women, that just further proves it's a subtle, yet badass way that the Oscars may be finally changing its tune — without patting themselves on the back in some sort of self-aggrandizing way. These brief videos featured stars ranging from Salma Hayek to Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot to Rebel Wilson.
Essentially, these clips are a way for the Academy to show their support for women. Given all that's happened lately in Hollywood, ranging from the #MeToo to #TimesUp movements, it's a moment to believe and validate women's stories. But the need to support women is certainly not a new phenomenon, considering the ongoing gender disparity across the industry — reflected in less women being nominated in behind-the-scenes categories or the wage gap.
Sure, featuring women-led videos during the nominations ceremony doesn't undo years of women not being treated the same in Hollywood, or across any industry for that matter. But it's a hopeful change of pace that may set the tone for the ceremony as a whole. The SAG Awards conveyed a similar message when they decided to only have women present the awards at their 2018 ceremony, or the red carpet at the Golden Globes being filled with almost all-black ensembles. The industry may have finally gotten a wakeup call, and it's steps forward like these that show progress is in the process of happening.
At the same time, the catch-22 of finally giving women this spotlight is that it's a relief it's actually happening, but a shame that it took so long, and took the outpouring of so many heartbreaking stories and allegations for women's voices to be heard and believed.
Still, the Academy seems intent on taking a stand. It's reflected in their decision to vote Weinstein out of the Academy after decades of allegations against the producer surfaced. (Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.) When voting out Weinstein back in October, their statement read, in part:
"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."
In a similar vein, James Franco has been snubbed by the Oscars, despite his success at the Golden Globes. This likely is due to the fact that five women have accused the Disaster Artist star of sexual misconduct. (Franco has denied the allegations and claimed they are "not accurate.) Through both those moves, the Academy seems to be sticking to their promise of not letting any "willful ignorance and shameful complicity" carry on.
And these videos featuring women are a move worth celebrating. Again, it doesn't turn back the clock, but it's a way to change the game going forward. Women are all-too-often underrepresented behind the scenes, and even on screen. It's about time that they are viewed as equals.
The symbolism of this moment wasn't lost on Twitter. Some fans tweeted their thoughts on these mini clips.
All in all, the vibe was that people are impressed, especially given the ceremony's previous history of not necessarily holding women on an equal playing field. It wasn't until 2010 that Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director. And this year, is the first time a woman is nominated for Best Cinematography. Yes, it took until 2018 for that to happen, and Rachel Morrison is the cinematographer who broke that barrier. Plus, Greta Gerwig made history as the first woman nominated for her directorial debut.
Suffice to say, there are glass ceilings that still need to be shattered. But women aren't going anywhere, and it's satisfying to see the Oscars are taking notice and giving women the spotlight they have long-deserved. Fingers crossed that these nomination clips are just the first of many steps forward.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.