Natalie Portman made quite a statement with her red carpet ensemble at the 2020 Oscars.
The actress showed up in a gorgeous custom embroidered cape by Dior. But upon closer inspection, you can see that the cape features the names of all the female directors who were snubbed at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Despite a plethora of award-worthy female-helmed projects in the last year — such as Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, The Farewell from Lulu Wang, Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim, and even Hustlers from Lorene Scafaria — critics were quick to point out that not a single woman was nominated in the Best Director category at the Academy Awards this year.
Instead, only men were nominated for Best Director: Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, Sam Mendes for 1917, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and Todd Phillips for Joker. Bong Joon Ho ended up snagging the award.
And while Natalie Portman isn’t saying that those directors aren’t also deserving of a nomination for their work, she’s certainly not about to let anyone forget about the lack of women getting their recognition.
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” the actress said of her cape.
Along the front edge, the cape featured the last names of women directors who didn’t get a nod in the Best Director category: Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
This isn’t the first time that Natalie Portman has called attention to Hollywood awards voters’ tendency to overlook women directors.
Two years ago, Natalie Portman referenced the “all male nominees” when presenting the Best Director category at the Golden Globes. Her shade-filled comment was met with both gasps and applause from the audience.
Only five women have ever been nominated for directing in the history of the Oscars, and director Kathryn Bigelow was the only one to ever win. She took the Oscar for 2008’s The Hurt Locker.