Natalie Portman Responds to Rose McGowan’s Criticism of Her Oscars Protest Dress
Rose McGowan slammed Natalie Portman's decision to wear a dress to the Oscars that protested gender inequality for directors.
Portman wore a dress that featured a cape with the names of female directors that were snubbed at this year's Academy Awards on Sunday (February 9). McGowan shared a lengthy post on Facebook criticizing Portman's activism on Tuesday (February 11).
McGowan described the dress as "the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media for its bravery." McGowan did not agree with the support she has been getting over her protest. "Brave? No, not by a long shot," she wrote. "More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do." She called Portman's activism "deeply offensive" and explained that she was not writing this post out of "bitterness" but rather "disgust."
McGowan shared that Portman has only worked with two directors in her film career and that she "is the problem." She added, "I am singling you out because you are the latest in a long line of actresses who are acting the part of a woman who cares about other women. Actresses who supposedly stand for women, but in reality do not do much at all."
"Until you and your fellow actresses get real, do us all a favor and hang up your embroidered activist cloak, it doesn’t hang right," McGowan concluded.
Portman responded to McGowan's post on Wednesday (February 12). "I agree with Ms. McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me 'brave' for wearing a garment with women's names on it," Portman said in a statement to E! News. "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."
"It is true I've only made a few films with women," she confessed. "In my long career, I've only gotten the chance to work with female directors a few times. I've made shorts, commercials, music videos and features with Marya Cohen, Mira Nair, Rebecca Zlotowski, Anna Rose Holmer, Sofia Coppola, Shirin Neshat and myself. Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history."
Portman explained that female-directed films are harder to get financed, chosen at festivals, distribution and accolades. She attributes these struggles to 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," she concluded.
See McGowan's full statement, below.