Natalie Portman wanted to make a “subtle” statement with her Oscars ensemble, but Rose McGowan has some not-so-nice words for Portman concerning her cape.
The custom embroidered Dior cape that Natalie Portman sported on the red carpet was intended to pay tribute to 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, 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.
To make a statement, and also show her support of the women, Portman had the last names of eight women directors who didn’t get a nod in the Best Director category embroidered along the front edge of her cape.
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” the actress said, explaining the cape.
However, Rose McGowan had some choice words for Portman concerning her “protest” of the all-male nominations for Best Director, and the way that the media painted her as being “brave.”
“Some thoughts on Natalie Portman and her Oscar ‘protest.’ The kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media for its bravery,” McGowan wrote on her Facebook. “Brave? No, not by a long shot.”
On top of that, she accused Portman of “acting the part of someone who cares,” and called Portman’s “type” of activism “deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work.”
McGowan points out that Portman has only ever worked with two female directors in her career, and one of those female directors was actually Portman herself. And Portman’s production company?
“You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director–you.”
McGowan makes it clear that she only sees Portman as one of many actresses who say they stand for women, but “in reality do not do much at all.”
Natalie Portman seems to have gotten McGowan’s message, too. The Black Swan actress responded to McGowan’s harsh criticism, saying, “I agree with Ms. McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me ‘brave’ for wearing a garment with women’s names on it.”
And while Portman admits that she’s only made “a few films with women,” she added, “Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history.”
She went on to point out that female directors have found it “incredibly hard” to get their work financed and produced.
“Female-directed films face difficulty getting into festivals, getting distribution and getting accolades because of the gatekeepers at every level.”
“So I want to say, I have tried, and I will keep trying. while I have not yet been successful, I am hopeful that we are stepping into a new day,” Portman added.