Saoirse Ronan and Her ‘Little Women’ Co-Stars Are Not Happy About Greta Gerwig’s Golden Globes Snub

Count Saoirse Ronan and her Little Women co-stars among the many people who aren’t too happy with the 2020 Golden Globe nominations. 

When the Hollywood Foreign Press Association revealed its list of contenders for the best in movies and television for 2019 on Dec. 9, many were left shaking their heads. Netflix racked up a ton of nominations, including three out of five nominees for best motion picture drama with Marriage Story, The Irishman, and The Two Popes. But a number of big contenders were largely ignored. Among them was Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, which earned just two nods, despite being one of the best-reviewed movies of the year. And that’s not sitting well with the film’s cast. 

Saoirse Ronan speaks out 

Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan | Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ronan, who was nominated for Best Actress in a drama for playing Jo March, appeared with her co-stars Florence Pugh (Amy March) and Eliza Scanlen (Beth March) on the Today show on Dec. 10. They didn’t conceal their disappointment that Greta Gerwig was not nominated for best director for her work on Little Women.

“I think we were totally shocked,” Pugh said. 

“She has made one of the best movies of the year,” Ronan said. But she added that she hoped the snub would draw attention to the way that the work of female directors is often ignored. “In a way, it’s sort of vital for something like this to happen because it reminds us of how far we still need to go. She’s a really, really brilliant filmmaker.”

“My performance in this film belongs to Greta as much as it does myself and I share this recognition completely with her,” Ronan said in a statement after her nomination was announced. 

Only one woman has won Best Director at the Golden Globes 

This isn’t the first time that Gerwig has been snubbed at the Golden Globes. She also didn’t receive a nod for 2017’s Lady Bird, though she went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for best director for the film. (Lady Bird did win Best Picture — Musical or Comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony.) 

Since 1944, just one woman has earned a Golden Globe for directing. In 1983, Barbra Streisand took home the trophy for Yentl. Ava DuVernay was the last female director nominated in the category, in 2015 for Selma. That year, Richard Linklater took home the prize for Boyhood. (This year, the HFPA also snubbed DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us.) 

Only a handful of other women have even been nominated for Best Director. Jane Campion was nominated in 1994 for The Piano and Sofia Coppola in 2004 for Lost in Translation. Kathryn Bigelow was nominated in 2009 and 2012 for The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Streisand received a second nomination in 1992 for The Prince of Tides.

The Golden Globes need to do better, say critics

Women were also shut out of the Best Motion Picture drama and comedy categories, as well as Best Screenplay. Many thought female-helmed films like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Hustlers, and The Farewell would receive nominations.

Rebecca Goldman, the chief operating officer of the Time’s Up foundation, said the absence of women from major Golden Globes categories should not be ignored.

“As today’s nominations show, women — and especially women of color — continue to be pushed to the sidelines by a system that holds women back, onscreen and off,” she said in a statement. “The omission of women isn’t just a Golden Globes problem —it’s an industry-wide crisis, and it’s unacceptable.”