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Leah’s Lens: The Oscars are not ‘Kenough’

Leahs+Lens%3A+The+Oscars+are+not+Kenough
Kaitlyn Close

The 2024 Oscars nominations are here, and saying people are disappointed is an understatement.

The Oscars have been around since 1929, and it is one of the most watched awards ceremonies. Today, almost a century later, everyone is talking about the nominations that came out Tuesday. While most of the conversation has been negative, one extraordinary milestone did occur: Lily Gladstone was the first Native American to be nominated for Best Actress for “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

“Oppenheimer” leads the pack with 13 nominations, with other popular films bringing in many nominations, such as “Poor Things” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” with 11 and 10, respectively. With 2023 being the year of “Barbenheimer,” it was expected that “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” would be frontrunners in all the award ceremony nominations. “Barbie” was nominated in eight categories, which is quite the accomplishment. However, the film was missing in two huge categories: Best Actress and Best Director. 

The fact that the film is not present in these categories is almost too ironic; a movie all about women empowerment and breaking out of societal boxes, and Margot Robbie nor Greta Gerwig are nowhere to be found on the nominations list. Someone whose name is on the list? Ryan Gosling for Best Supporting Actor. 

Gosling himself came out with a statement thanking the Academy for the nomination while also calling attention to Robbie and Gerwig not receiving nominations. He also expressed his pride in America Ferrera for being nominated for Best Supporting Actress. While Gosling played an incredible Ken, the fact that he received more credit than Robbie and Gerwig goes against the main message of the film.

Many award ceremony fans expressed the same indignation as Gosling, saying it proves the main message of the movie to be true; women are inconsequential compared to men. It is certainly a bad look for the Academy as well as extremely disheartening for many women around the world who finally felt seen by “Barbie.”

One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is Ferrera’s monologue discussing how impossible it is to be a woman and please everyone. When the movie was released in July, the scene immediately captured people’s attention and made thousands of people extremely emotional. Little did Ferrera know how true her character’s words would ring. 

It was truly a sad moment for all women reading the Oscar nominations and not seeing Gerwig or Robbie’s name on the list. In the year of “Barbie,” when feminism and girl power was at the forefront of so many people’s minds and conversations were sparked about the misogynistic tendencies of society, the two women who carried the film were slighted.

In the words of Ferrera, “Always stand out and always be grateful. But never forget the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful.”

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About the Contributors
Leah Boone
Leah Boone, Opinion Editor
Leah Boone (she/her/hers) is a junior chemistry major. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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