Trevor Noah Slams All-Male Oscar Directing Noms


6:24 PM PST 1/13/2020


Katie Kilkenny

Comedy Central

Trevor Noah

“Did you know the movie directed itself?” the host joked on Monday’s ‘Daily Show’ while reacting to the Academy nods.

Trevor Noah had a quick take on the Oscar nominations on Monday: Little Women and Great Gerwig were robbed.

In a Daily Show segment on the Academy Award nominations, announced earlier in the day by John Cho and Issa Rae, the host immediately picked up on a comment made by Rae while unveiling the category for best director: “Congratulations to those men,” she said. (The nominees included The Irishman‘s Martin Scorsese, Joker‘s Todd Phillips, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Quentin Tarantino, 1917‘s Sam Mendes and Parasite‘s Bong Joon Ho.)

“Wow, Issa Rae, damn,” Noah said in response. “You know you’re in trouble when someone can throw shade by congratulating you.”

Noah then said he agreed with Rae’s comments, adding, “Those aren’t just all male directors, those are all very male movies. Like, if you take out Parasite, women probably have 10 minutes of dialogue in all the other films combined.” Indeed, both Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman have come under fire for offering little dialogue to stars Margot Robbie and Anna Paquin, respectively, who play significant characters in both films. “There’s no reason that women shouldn’t have bigger roles in these movies,” he continued, “Except for 1917, because women weren’t invented until the ’30s.”

Where was Little Women, Noah asked? “Because I loved the movie. And also the Oscar voters loved the movie, which is weird,” he said to loud applause. The host noted that Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the beloved novel was nominated for six awards (best picture, best adapted screenplay, best actress, best supporting actress, best costume design and best original score), but Gerwig wasn’t nominated as a director.

“How the hell does that happen? Two people were like, ‘Yeah, what an amazing movie.’ ‘Yeah, did you know the movie directed itself?’ ‘Wow, that’s incredible,'” Noah joked. The refrain of Little Women “directing itself” percolated Monday on social media, and Sony chief Tom Rothman also used the line in his reaction to the nominations list. “It’s wonderful to see the movie [Little Women] receive Best Picture and for Greta to be nominated as a screenwriter, but the movie didn’t direct itself and I would say that Greta is not a great female director, she is a great director,” the exec told one outlet.

Noah congratulated Cynthia Erivo for receiving a best actress nom for Harriet, but noted that the role had her playing a slave: “Imagine if every white actor who was nominated got it for playing a supervisor at Whole Foods. Huh? White people, you’re more than just that.”

The host capped off the segment by joking that the biggest snub for him was in the film editing category: “How are you not going to nominate the guy who edited the Jeffrey Epstein security tapes?” he asked. 

TONIGHT: Congrats to “Little Women” for directing itself!

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 14, 2020

Noah was hardly the only late-night host to address the demographics of this year’s nominees. On The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon joked, “You know there’s a problem when female directors got the same amount of nominations as Cats.” (Fallon also noted the lack of minorities nominated this year: In another moment, he said, “The nominees are so white that this year’s Oscars are being held at Pottery Barn.”) On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, host Jimmy Kimmel said, “Nineteen of the 20 acting nominees are white people. No women were nominated for best director. That’s fewer minorities than in Donald Trump’s cabinet.”

  • Katie Kilkenny

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