Oscar Is a Man: Sexism and the Academy Awards

Authors

  • Kenneth Grout Emerson College
  • Owen Eagan Emerson College

Keywords:

Best Picture, gender inequity, sexism, Academy Awards, Oscars

Abstract

This study analyzes the implicit bias of the Academy Awards and Oscar’s historic lack of gender equity. While there are awards for Best Actor and Actress, a comparative analysis of these awards and the Best Picture prize reveals that a man is more than twice as likely as a woman to receive an Oscar for leading work in a Best Picture. A man is also nearly twice as likely to be nominated as a leading performer in a Best Picture winner. Supporting women in Best Pictures fare a bit better with actual trophies, but, when considering nominations, a man is still more than oneand-a-half times as likely as a woman to be nominated for a supporting performance in a Best Picture winner. This research considers these factors, identifies potential reasons for them, and draws conclusions regarding the decades of gender bias in the Academy Awards. Further, this study investigates the dissolution of the Hollywood studio system and how, though brought on in part by two of the film industry’s leading ladies, the crumbling of that system ultimately hurt the industry’s women more than its men. Keywords: Oscars, Academy Awards, sexism, gender inequity, Best Picture.

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Published

2020-12-02