Oscar-nominated, Cambridge-bred filmmaker shares powerful message about working while pregnant

This image released by Netflix shows Rachel Morrison on the set of the film "Mudbound." Morrison was the first woman nominated for an Oscar for best cinematography. Beginning Friday, Lincoln Center will feature 36 films shot by 23 female cinematographers as part of a two-week series, “The Female Gaze." (Steve Dietl/Netflix via AP)
Steve Dietl/Netflix via AP
Rachel Morrison on the set of the film "Mudbound."

Cambridge native Rachel Morrison made a name for herself earlier this year when she became the first woman to be nominated for a best cinematography Oscar for her work on “Mudbound.” On Friday, Morrison stood out again, this time for an Instagram post discussing the stigma of working while pregnant.

Morrison posted a photo of herself holding a camera and more than eight months pregnant. In the photo’s caption, she wrote that her impending due date doesn’t mean she has to stop working.

“There’s a common misconception that likens pregnancy to some kind of disability — the idea that women who are pregnant shouldn’t be active and can’t go about their normal lives,” Morrison wrote. “While no two pregnancies are the same, I just want to say that for many to most women this isn’t the case at all. I just wrapped a feature #againstallenemies at 8+ months pregnant. Now I’m on to a commercial and I plan to keep shooting for as long as anyone will hire me knowing in a few weeks I may have to replace myself if I go into labor on set . . . the point is I am NOT a superhero. I am just going about my life doing the thing that I love for as long as I can because the more I work before baby the longer I can take off after. Which should also be MY choice and no one else’s.”


Morrison also talked about the difficulties she faced when returning to work after a previous pregnancy.

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“Physically speaking I could have gone back to work within a week of having my son,” Morrison wrote in the caption. “At the time, I lost many jobs because people were nervous to hire me so soon after the birth but again I say this should be left up to us.”

Morrison said that becoming a mother has in actuality made her better at her job.

“Pregnancy and motherhood in general is not a disadvantage and the craft doesn’t suffer as a result,” she wrote. “If anything the added experience and enhanced empathy has made me a better cinematographer and filmmaker.”

Morrison’s post was shared multiple times on various social media platforms, including by fellow Cambridge native Mindy Kalingand Kaling’s “Ocean’s 8” costar Anne Hathaway.


In sharing Morrison’s post, Kaling wrote about her own recent experience of working while pregnant with her infant daughter, Katherine.

“I saw this on Annie’s insta and was so impressed,” Kaling wrote on Instagram. “Pregnant women and new moms are a valuable part of the workforce. I worked until two days before my daughter was born, because I was (luckily) able, and because my creative partners @cbgrandy@loriezerweck@itsspillertime and Howard Klein supported whatever i felt i could do. I acknowledge how lucky I am to work under those circumstances. Reading Rachel’s insta reminds me that as employers we shouldn’t be afraid of hiring these women! We work hard! And we wanna work!”