Emma Stone Oscar comments ignore intersectionality, sideline men of color


Guillermo Del Toro took home numerous Oscars for "The Shape of Water."

Sierra Rozen

The Oscars took place on March 4 and, like always, it had its fair share of controversy. The night had its great moments, such as Frances McDormand encouraging the audience to push for inclusion riders and having all the women nominees stand up when she was collecting her award. The evening seemed to be getting even better when Jordan Peele and Guillermo Del Toro, both men of color, won awards in their respective categories. Alas, these achievements were soured by a proclamation of white feminism.

Nervous excitement was running through the crowd as Emma Stone stepped up to announce the nominees for Best Director. Unfortunately, Stone just had to make the comment “These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.” Now at first glance, this might seem like a passionate commentary on how the Oscar’s tend to be male oriented.

This is true, but we are overlooking the fact that two men of color were nominated in this category. Men of color have almost always been looked down upon and ignored when it comes to award shows. Oscar voters tend to only focus on white males when making their nominations. What we have here is a clear example of white feminism, something that can be defined as feminism that ignores intersectionality.

Intersectionality is classified as a theory that considers various aspects of humanity and sees them as interwoven with each other, instead of viewing them separately. Focusing on the fact that one woman was nominated, ignoring the milestone of having two men of color nominated and grouping them with the other white directors makes this a pretty ignorant comment to make.

In the history of the Oscars, there has only been a handful of people of color and women who have been nominated for the Best Director category. We should have been celebrating the fact that we actually had some diversity in this category this year. It also helped to make up for the fact that Peele’s movie “Get Out” was nominated as a comedy at the Golden Globes, even though it is obviously a horror movie that happens to have social commentary in it as well.

The running theme of degrading the Best Director category simply because it only has one female in it this year is a problematic thing that Hollywood has yet to recognize. Though in the past Hollywood and intersectionality have not exactly gone hand in hand, part of solving the problem would simply be acknowledging the problem.

If a celebrity identifies themselves as a feminist, they need to recognize that being a feminist includes supporting people of color and other marginalized groups. Being a feminist does not mean making snide comments about how there is only one woman director nominated. Being a feminist means appreciating the steps we’ve taken by nominating people of color and women, but also sending out a cry for more diversity, more inclusion and more intersectionality.