Source: YouTube/USA TODAY

Issa Rae Seemingly Shades 2020 Oscars after Reading All-Male Nominees in Best Director Category

Lois Oladejo
Jan 14, 2020
09:40 P.M.
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American actress, writer, and director, Issa Rae, is seemingly unsatisfied with this year’s Oscar nominations for the director category, which appeared to have selectively sidelined the women.


“Insecure” star, Issa Rae, did the honors of presenting the list of 2020 Oscar nominees this week, as compiled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

However, the filmmaker’s initial enthusiasm was cut short once she read out the “All Male” list, which included Martin Scorsese from “The Irishman,” Todd Phillips, of “Joker,” Quentin Tarantino, for “Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood,” Sam Mendez, “1917,” and Bong Joon Ho, for his work in “Parasite.”

Issa Rae speaks onstage during the Soul Train Music Awards at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Getty Images


The list of nominees, for the supposed best directors in the industry, failed to include trailblazing female directors like Greta Gerwig, whom many have anticipated to bag the award for her work on “Little Women.”

Following Issa’s calling of the names of nominees for the best director category, the unimpressed actress added with a hint of sarcasm:

“Congratulations to those men.”

Actress Issa Rae attends the 2019 Teen Vogue Summit at Goya Studios in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images


The producer’s disappointment was shared by many others who expected Gerwig and Lulu Wang to make the list. Both women earlier received critical acclaims for their outstanding works this season.

Since the inception of the Academy Year Award ninety years ago, there has been a record of just one female winner, Kathryn Bigelow, for her 2008 movie, “The Hurt Locker.”

Two years ago, actress Natalie Portman pulled a similar stunt during her announcement at the Oscars stage


In addition to the female Oscar winner and Gerwig, only three other women have landed a nod for best director, including Lina Wertmuller, for “Seven Beauties,” Jane Campion, “The Piano,” and Sofia Coppola, for “Lost In Translation.”

Notwithstanding Issa’s purported shade, the Academy took to twitter to felicitate with the best director nominees, also sharing the reactions of the various nod achievers in all categories.

However, producer, Kyle Griffin was in no haste to overlook the sarcasm. Along with a short clip of the moment, he tweeted:

“Issa Rae, after announcing the Best Director category: ‘Congratulations to those men.'”


As many may recall, this is not the first time an announcer for the director category would appear to throw shade at the Oscars over their dissatisfaction at an all-male list.


Two years ago, actress Natalie Portman pulled a similar stunt during her announcement at the Oscars stage, introducing the nominees with the words, “And here are the all-male nominees.”

Natalie Portman attends the AFI FEST 2019 Presented By Audi premiere of "Queen & Slim" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

Her words were then regarded by many as an attempt to call out the Academy for the obvious lack of female nominations in the top category.

The 2020 Academy Award, which would mark the 92nd year of the annual event is slated to air live from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 9, by 8 pm.