Emma Stone Accused of ‘Peak White Feminism’ for Oscar Presentation

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: In this handout provided by A.M.P.A.S., Emma Stone attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images)
Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images

Emma Stone came under fire Sunday night from some online critics who claimed her presentation of the Best Director award at the Oscars represented “peak white feminism.”

The 29-year-old La La Land Oscar-winner took to the stage at the Dolby Theater Sunday night to introduce directing nominees Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

“It is the director whose indelible touch is reflected on every frame. It is the director who, shot by shot, scene by scene, day by day, works with every member of the crew to further the story. And it is the vision of the director that takes an ordinary movie and turns it into a work of art,” Stone began her short presentation speech.

“These four men, and Greta Gerwig, created their own masterpieces this year,” she added, nodding to the fact that the Lady Bird director was just the fourth woman ever to be nominated in the category in the Academy’s 90-year history.


But Stone’s introduction stirred backlash online, with some critics accusing the star of ignoring the achievements of Peele — who became just the fifth African-American to be nominated in the category, and who had earlier won the Original Screenplay Oscar for Get Out — and Del Toro, who ultimately won the award for The Shape of Water.

“Peak white feminism from Emma Stone,” wrote one Twitter user. “Pointing out that 4 of the nominees are men while ignoring that 2 of those men are minorities.”

‘These four men and Greta Gerwig.’ Nevermind that one of those men is Black and one of those men is Latino but ok…you go right on ahead, Emma Stone. I say ALL of OUR names,” added another.

#OscarsSoWhite hashtag creator April Reign also weighed in on Stone’s speech, accusing the actress of having previously played a “whitewashed” character in the 2015 film Aloha.

“Emma Stone made a movie with Woody Allen, played a whitewashed character, and erased the importance of two men of color in a category. But she identified a woman, so…. yay?” Reign wrote.

Stone’s speech was reminiscent of fellow actress Natalie Portman’s presentation of Best Director at the January’s Golden Globes, in which she introduced the category by saying, “And here are the all-male nominees.”

Stone was not nominated for any awards during Sunday night’s show. She won Best Actress for her role in last year’s musical La La Land and was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 2015 Best Picture winner Birdman.

See the full list of Sunday night’s winners here.


Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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