Kathryn Bigelow First Woman to Win Best Director Oscar
Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win an Oscar for Best Director last night for her film, The Hurt Locker.
Bigelow said, "I hope I'm the first of many, and of course, I'd love to just think of myself as a filmmaker. And I long for the day when that modifier can be a moot point...But I'm very grateful if I can inspire some young, intrepid, tenacious male or female filmmaker and have them feel that the impossible is possible, and never give up on your dream," reported the Associated Press. The Hurt Locker won a total of 6 awards, including Best Picture, Directing, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Writing (Original Screenplay).
Geoffrey Fletcher also made Oscar history last night when he won Best Adapted Screenplay, becoming the first African American to win an Oscar for writing. Fletcher wrote Precious, which was based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Also for Precious, Mo'Nique won Best Supporting Actress and became the fifth black woman to win an Oscar for acting. In her acceptance speech, Mo'Nique thanked Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940 for Gone with the Wind, reported the Baltimore Sun.
Bigelow is the fourth woman to have been nominated for the Best Director award. Previous women nominees are Lina Wertmueller, Seven Beauties (1975); Jane Campion, The Piano (1993); and Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation (2003), according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, women are only 7 percent of top-grossing directors, 8 percent of writers, 17 percent of executive producers, 23 percent of producers, 18 percent of editors and 2 percent of cinematographers in Hollywood.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/8/10; Los Angeles Times 3/8/10; Baltimore Sun 3/8/10; Oscar.com; San Francisco Gate 3/3/10
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .