Issa Rae Explains Her Remark About The All-Male Oscar Nominees For Best Director

Issa Rae attends the 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala Presented by Max Mara with additional support from partners Delta Air Lines and Lexus at The Beverly Hilton on June 12, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Issa Rae recently dished about her quip about the fact that only males were nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.

The Insecure star went viral on Monday, January 13, for a comment she made while announcing the annual ceremony’s nominees. According to CNN, the actress was sitting next to actor John Cho as they read off the nominees for Best Director. The outlet reports that several male stars were named as nominees, including Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once upon a Time… in Hollywood) and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite). Upon reading off the names of the nominees, Rae left a small comment regarding them before moving on to the next category.

“Congratulations to those men,” the executive producer said on screen.

Rae recently spoke about her popular remark when she attended the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California. She said that she and Cho were instructed to use the time that the teleprompter was loading to “engage in banter” with one another. Rae said that she decided to use her time to point out that there was a lack of female nominees for the category, including Little Women director Greta Gerwig.

Rae also shared that she decided to make her comment because of the fact that men have dominated the category in the past. She said that the topic eventually comes out during awards season and is a conversation she no longer wishes to have.

“I’m kind of tired of having the same conversation,” Rae said. “I think every year, it’s something. So, for me, it’s just pointing it out when I see it. But I just don’t want to get too worked up about it. It is what it is at this point.”

“It’s just the conversation that’s happening behind the scenes are what I’m most interested in. So, yeah, I don’t want to say too much more about it. It’s annoying.”

While she is upset by the nominations for Best Director this year, Rae is working behind the scenes to bring in more female directors on her show, Insecure. The HBO series starring Rae will return for its fourth season on Sunday, April 12. According to Popsugar, Rae has brought in Kerry Washington as a director on the show. The Scandal alum is set to direct one of the episodes on Season 10.

The 2020 Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9.