The lack of ethnic diversity among last night’s nominees may have been Chris Rock’s biggest issue with this year’s Oscars, but he also squeezed in some incisive commentary on subconscious gender bias. While suggesting that the Academy introduce “black categories” as a tongue-in-cheek solution to its diversity issue, he called out the inherent inequality in separating the awards for Best Actress from Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress from Best Supporting Actor:
Rock is absolutely correct that there’s no logical reason for separating men and women in this way. None of the other categories—like directing, cinematography or costume design—are broken out for men and women.
Of course, to Rock’s point about black nominees, there is the downside that women would take home fewer Oscars if the acting categories were to be combined. Just look how women have fared in the Best Director category—Kathryn Bigelow was the first and only woman to win this award in 2010.