Why the Conversations Around Oscars Snubs Does a Huge Disservice to Women

As far as awards shows, go the 2023 Oscars went by with nary a hitch nor major controversy, much to the delight, I imagine, of the newly instated ‘crisis team’ brought in to avoid a repeat of last year’s #slapgate. But, as is part and parcel of these events, the online chatter following the 95th Academy Awards broadcast quickly turned to bickering about snubs.

While many will agree that award shows are subjective, that rarely stops people from getting all hot and bothered when their faves don’t walk away with the trophy. But, watching my feed yesterday, I saw that many of the snub-centric conversations were decidedly focused on the Best Supporting Actress category. And it kinda made me feel a bit disappointed we are still having these unhealthy competitive conversations.

Pitting women against each other is nothing new, but the deluge of posts clogging up my feed was getting heated. At the centre of the discussion were the ‘snubs’ of nominees Angela Bassett for her portrayal of Ramonda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Stephanie Hsu’s role of Joy Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. In the end, the Academy Award went to veteran actress Jamie Lee Curtis, which truly angered quite a large portion of the internet. 

It’s all very well and good to say “it’s just a silly award, what does it matter who won?” But I think we’ve learned over the past few years that representation in our media, and how those figures are spotlighted, really does matter — at the very least from a cultural perspective. So yes, I think this conversation needs to be had. But, by screaming red and hot about why one person was more deserving than another, it does a real disservice to women on a macro level. 

The way women are treated in Hollywood is a specific example of the dynamics that you’ll find present across a number of different working environments throughout the world. Across boardrooms; in schools, and in health care sectors, to name but a few, women are told to fight tooth and nail if they want a leg up over their professional contemporaries. And do we think this creates supportive, respectful work environments? Hell no. This is the driving force behind jealousy, burnout and deep feelings of dissatisfaction. And look, not to sound too Damien from Mean Girls about it all, but can’t we just all get along and be happy for each other’s success? I’m tired!

At 64 years old, Jamie Lee Curtis was a first-time winner of an Oscar, showing women across the world that hard work and dedication pay off and that, yes, there is still a seat for you at the table after you turn 50! By minimising her win, you’re minimising that message. Both Angela Bassett and Stephanie Hsu delivered stunning, meaningful performances that shifted the needle forward not only from a representation perspective but from a place of masterful craft. Jamie Lee Curtis’ win does not and will never take that away. You’re also telling Stephanie and Angela that the impact of their performances can only be validated by an award. All of these incredible performances can co-exist and be applauded without tearing the other women down. 

All of the nominated artists in the Best Supporting Actress should feel immensely proud of their impact — let them bask in that and let us learn that we are only ever as good as the support we show our peers. As women, we rise up together.

Related: Michelle Yeoh Makes History With Best Actress Oscar Win

Related: The 2023 Oscars Reminded Me That Life Isn’t Over After 30

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