Natalie Portman arrived at the 92nd Academy Awards in a gorgeous Dior ensemble. Not only did Portman end up all the best dressed lists for the night, she also got people talking about a small, yet meaningful detail on her cape. The actress embroidered the names of the female directors not nominated for an Oscar at this year's ceremony.
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” Portman explained in a video tweeted out by Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman. Here are the female directors Portman included on her cape: Lorene Scarfaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mari Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
Portman's decision to honor the snubbed directors certainly earned her much praise on social media, however, she also received a decent amount of backlash, as well. One of her detractors was outspoken women's rights activist and Portman's fellow actress, Rose McGowan. In a Facebook post, McGowan called Portman's sartorial gesture “the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media” but is actually “more like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do.”
McGowan added that she finds “Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work.” She told her followers she wasn't "writing this out of bitterness," but rather "out of disgust" because she wants Portman "and other actresses to walk the walk." She then proceeded to call out Portman for only working with two female directors. "Natalie, you have worked with two female directors in your very long career- one of them was you. You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director- you," McGowan wrote.
After McGowan's criticism of Portman went viral, Portman released a statement addressing the situation via The Hollywood Reporter. "I agree with Ms. McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me 'brave' for wearing a garment with women’s names on it. Brave is a term I more strongly associate with actions like those of the women who have been testifying against Harvey Weinstein the last few weeks, under incredible pressure," Portman's statement read.
"I have had the experience a few times of helping get female directors hired on projects which they were then forced out of because of the conditions they faced at work," she continued. "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."
What do you think of Portman's Oscar's cape?