Rose McGowan Accuses Natalie Portman Of Hypocrisy For Wearing Cape With Names Of Snubbed Female Directors

'I find Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work.'

rose mcgowan natalie portman

by grazia |
Updated on

On Sunday, Natalie Portman's Oscars outfit became one of the most talked about dresses of the night, thanks to a very special cape. The piece, draped over her Dior gown, was embroidered with the names of the female directors who had been overlooked in the Best Director category. And yet, the act has been criticised by those - including actress Rose McGowan - who feel that the actress fails to put her money where her cape is.

'I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,' Natalie said on the red carpet, allowing the cameras to pan down the cape, highlighting the talented women behind some of the best films of the year. They included Lorene Scafaria, Lulu Wang, Greta Gerwig, Mati Diop, Marielle Heller, Melina Matsoukas, Alma Har'el and Céline Sciamma.

Amazing, right? The act was widely praised across social media, and Natalie featured on many best dressed lists. But others found the statement tone deaf. One Twitter user asked: 'I wonder if this means her production company will finally produce a film with a female director', while another pointed out that Natalie's company, handsomecharliefilms, has in fact produced one film directed by a woman: Natalie herself.

Meanwhile, Rose McGowan challenged the actress to 'walk the walk', saying she found the fashion statement 'deeply offensive'. 'I find Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work,' she wrote on Facebook. 'I’m not writing this out of bitterness, I am writing out of disgust. I just want her and other actresses to walk the walk.'

'What is it with actresses of your ilk?' she continued. 'You ‘A-listers’ could change the world if you’d take a stand instead of being the problem. Yes, you, Natalie. You are the problem. Lip service is the problem. Fake support of other women is the problem.'

The criticism is, of course, valid. But is it fair? Natalie has form in highlighting the plight of female directors, and while hosting a segment at the 2018 Golden Globes, she added her own line: 'and here are the all-male nominees.' And while she has only acted in two films directed by women in her lengthy career, at least two male-directed films had been attached to female directors when Natalie initially signed up.

Such statements are important. Those who make them are not always perfect. Surely, if we want celebrities - and civilians - to continue to try and make positive changes, then we need to celebrate that rather than tear them down each time. But, at the same time, it's important to point out when these same people could be doing more. We can applaud something at the same time as offering further guidance. Or, we can go back to the days where celebrities were too scared to express any opinions at all.

Hopefully Natalie will continue to speak out for other women in film, while making positive changes in her own work. With any luck, she won't need to bring the cape to the next award ceremony...

READ MORE: Oscars 2020: All The Best Pictures From The After Parties

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