LOS ANGELES -- Women earned a number of barrier-breaking Oscar nominations this year, but overall representation of women in Oscar-nominated behind-the-scenes categories fell two percent, according to a report from the Women’s Media Center published Monday.
The report, authored by awards blogger Sasha Stone, noted landmark achievements -- like how “Jackie” composer Mica Levi became the first women to be nominated for original score and how Joi McMillon became the first black woman to earn an editing nomination -- but bemoaned the decrease in female nominees overall despite efforts by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to expand and diversify membership.
For the seventh year following Kathryn Bigelow’s historic win for “The Hurt Locker” in 2009, no women were nominated for best director. Only one woman was nominated in any screenwriting category -- Allison Schroeder, who co-wrote “Hidden Figures” -- down from three last year. And, once again, no women were nominated for cinematography.
Other categories experienced similar drops, save an increase in nominations for women in the Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories.
The percentage of Oscar nominees was slightly better than overall behind-the-scenes employment numbers for 2016, which the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film reported was 17 percent for the top 250 domestic grossing films.
“Clearly, women cannot get through the door and if they cannot get through the door, they cannot be recognized -- and rewarded -- for their excellence and impact,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center. “We ask the studio and agency executives who are OK with making a bunch of deals that exclude women to ‘Be Better.’”