While Oprah may have stolen the show at the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony, she wasn’t the only woman who left a mark at the microphone. Another notable moment arrived when Natalie Portman co-presented the best director award alongside Ron Howard, calling out the category’s major oversight by declaring, “here all the all-male nominees.”
The award eventually went to Guillermo del Toro, but his win was nearly overshadowed by reactions from all five nominees, none of whom looked entirely comfortable. In the aftermath, viewers were divided, with some online commenters saying they felt sorry for del Toro while others supported Portman’s remarks.
For his part, del Toro said in a brief email to IndieWire this week, there are no hard feelings. “I think it was great!” he wrote. “She should say exactly what she feels. There is phenomenal work being done by female directors.” He singled out several awards season contenders from women directors, adding that “’Mudbound,’ ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ are all terrific.” Earlier this week, “The Post” director Steven Spielberg also cited those films when asked about women directors during awards season.
Del Toro, whose “The Shape of Water” is one of several films in his filmography focused on a female protagonist, has spoken out about gender disparity in Hollywood in the past. In 2015, he said that it took nine years to finance his Jessica Chastain vehicle “Crimson Peak,” because “it was female-centric,” then clarified: “I have had projects were explicitly the studio has said, this is the limit of your budget because it’s a female character. I still keep writing.”
The lack of female nominees at the Globes and BAFTAs has largely focused on the lack of support for Greta Gerwig’s direction of “Lady Bird,” and questions about the validity of the directing category in awards season as a whole.