FFrom left to right: Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, Saoirse Ronan as Jo, and Eliza Scanlen as Beth.

Male Awards Voters Are Skipping Little Women? Damn Fools!

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Greta Gerwig’s Little Women does what very few adaptations of established films and/or novels do: It makes the story fresh and modern for a new generation of women. So, I was shocked to see that it wasn’t getting the nomination love from the SAG Awards or the Golden Globes, despite garnering acclaim from critics who saw it. And now, after seeing it myself, I wondered why movies I didn’t think were anything special got praise and nominations over Gerwig’s exceptional take on the Louisa May Alcott novel.

But then, Amy Pascal, one of the producers for the film and the former head of Sony Pictures, talked to Vanity Fair about how male voters for these awards ceremonies just didn’t show for screenings, and it really made me realize that there is a problem with award season as a whole but, more importantly, with male voters.

It’s a completely unconscious bias. I don’t think it’s anything like a malicious rejection. I don’t think that [men] came to the screenings in droves, let me put it that way. And I’m not sure when they got their [screener] DVDs that they watched them.

It’s upsetting because so many of us have fought to get screenings for this movie. I know that I had to ask and was in a packed theater to see it, and yet these male voters won’t give it the time of day. Why? Probably because they think they know the story of Little Women, but what they don’t know is that Greta Gerwig has managed to take a story many of us know well and reengineer it so that it is fresh, modern, and unapologetic in its portrayal of these iconic women.

What’s worse is that many critics wanted to get into screenings and were told to wait because they were doing screenings for the voters. So, to know that men did not show up for whatever archaic reasoning is infuriating. What good reasoning could you have to not attend a movie if you are a voter? To be fair, if you’re going to vote for anything, then you have to see every film under consideration.

It’s not fair that you get to put a say in on what is and what is not your idea of award-worthy cinema when you don’t have the decency to actually go to your screenings. Little Women deserves a lot of credit for what it did with a story that many have seen told time and time again, and so the fact that Greta Gerwig and her amazing cast is getting pushed aside because men saw the title and said, “A film for women? No thank you!” isn’t fair.

Hopefully, the Academy voters go out and see Gerwig’s work in Little Women and give it the credit it deserves at the Oscars, otherwise we’ll have another Green Book situation on our hands where a bunch of dudes think they know what movies are good.

(via Vanity Fair, image: Wilson Webb/© 2019 CTMG, Inc.)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.