Laura Dern's powerful statement about women directors and diversity after winning Oscar

By Zach Harper

Laura Dern was thrilled to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Marriage Story. But in the press room that evening, her thoughts couldn't help but turn to other women who she and others felt hadn't been given their dues that evening.

The star, whose birthday fell a day after the Academy Awards this year, pointed to two women who she felt really should have been recognized with awards or at least nominations.

"If I could give this Oscar to [ Little Women director] Greta Gerwig, I would do it right now," she said in the press room, according to E! News.

Greta's husband Noah directed Laura in Marriage Story. Photo: © Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water

Many criticized the Academy Award nominations for Best Director, which did not include Greta and were comprised entirely of men for the second year in a row.

"And Lulu [Wang]," Laura continued, referring to the director of the acclaimed The Farewell. "I mean, there are so many beautiful films. I met the director of Honey Boy [Alma Har'el] yesterday at the Independent Spirit Awards. There are great films.

"I think that our lens should focus, perhaps, less on the lack of accolades and more on the less – the less opportunity that there is, and even more so the lack of second chances given to female voices."

The day before the Oscars, Lulu's The Farewell was named Best Feature film at the Independent Spirit Awards. Zhao Shuzhen also received the Best Supporting Female award, which Lulu accepted on her behalf.

"You don't have to encourage women," Lulu said in her acceptance speech for the awards show's top prize, according to Reuters. "There are lots of women making films and who want to make films. What women need is the jobs. Just give them the freakin' jobs. Give them the money."

Lulu poses with the Best Feature and Best Supporting Female awards at the Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 8. Photo: © David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Laura, who also won a Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA for her role this awards season, said as more diverse voices continue to be recognized, Hollywood will start to change, which will benefit everyone.

"I share this with Noah [Baumbach, Marriage Story writer and director and Greta's husband] and Greta as well, who I spent my year with in art and friendship and now doing press for both films. So I would love to see her continually awarded for all her beautiful work."

Laura also encouraged those in the Oscars press room – media, Hollywood stars, crew members and more – to continue to speak out when they see a lack of diversity in entertainment.

"We have the power to say something," she continued, according to E! News. "And when we don't see our culture reflected around us, we get to say something. And I think that's the biggest shift we've seen in the last couple years is voices matter, and a community of voices rallying around the truth really matter in journalism, in this industry, and in many others."

Natalie told Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman she "wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in a subtle way." Photo: © Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Laura wasn't the only person who drew attention to the lack of women nominated in the Best Director category. Natalie Portman came dressed in a gorgeous Dior Couture cape dress with beautiful gold embroidery. It featured the surnames of several women directors, including Greta, Lulu, Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood) and Mati Diop (Atlantics).

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