Oscars 2021
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: Director/Producer Chloe Zhao, winner of Best Directing and Best Picture for “Nomadland,” poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

As the first (and last) event on the awards season calendar that was entirely held in person, a sense of normality returned to Hollywood at the 2021 Oscars. The glamorous soirée was a welcomed reprieve to sweat pants and Zoom calls. But for the greater public, the numbers at the end of the night did not reflect as such.

According to Varietyjust 9.85 million people tuned in to the ceremony, more than a 58 percent drop from last year’s all-time low of 23.6 million viewers. In comparison, the 2019 ceremony garnered 29.6 million viewers. With COVID-19 restrictions including social distancing and production limitations in place, much of the awards season has struggled the engage the public. Where is the magical red carpet run in with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston? Or the many facial expressions from Billie Eilish?

While it’s disappointing, the Academy Awards made history in a more positive light. The Wrap reports that women nabbed a historic 17 awards at the Oscars in 2021, most notably in the Best Director category which is typically male-dominated. Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao was awarded the honour while Emerald Fennell won Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman. 

By comparison, 30 men were awarded across the evening meaning women accounted for 36 percent of trophies won. 70 women were nominated in 2021 which is the highest count in history. It’s certainly not equality but a sizeable increase from 13 female wins in 2020.

See all the female winners below.

Mollye Asher, Chloé Zhao and Frances McDormand, Best Picture for “Nomadland”

Chloé Zhao, Best Director for “Nomadland”

Frances McDormand, Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Nomadland”

H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas, Best Music (Original Song) for “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Emerald Fennell, Best Original Screenplay for “Promising Young Woman”

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, Best Makeup and Hairstyling for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Dana Murray, Best Animated Feature for “Soul”

Ann Roth, Best Costume Design for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Yuh-Jung Youn, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Minari”

Pippa Ehrlich, Best Documentary for “My Octopus Teacher”

Alice Doyard, Best Documentary Short for “Collette”

Michelle Couttolenc, Best Sound Design for “Sound of Metal”

Jan Pascale, Best Production Design for “Mank”