Speed Reads

2021 Oscars

Chloé Zhao becomes the 1st woman of color to win the Best Director Oscar

Chloé Zhao has made Academy Awards history.

The Nomadland filmmaker on Sunday won the Oscar for Best Director, making her the first woman of color to ever win this award. In fact, she was the first woman of color to even be nominated for Best Director. Zhao is also just the second woman to win the Best Director Oscar after The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow.

"This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other," Zhao said in her acceptance speech.

Zhao has been making history all throughout awards season — she became the first woman of color to win the Best Director Golden Globe and win the top prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards.

Zhao's dominance throughout awards season comes after years of criticism over the Oscars tending to overlook female directors. Prior to this year, only five women had ever been nominated for Best Director in the history of the Academy Awards. That number rose to seven with 2021's ceremony, which was also the first time that more than one woman has ever been up for Best Director in the same year. Hopefully, though, that's something we'll see happen more and more down the road.