Natalie Portman has concurred that her Oscars outfit – a cape which was embroidered with the names of female directors snubbed this year – did not make her “brave”.
Fellow actress Rose McGowan slated Portman in a scorching Facebook post, calling “Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work”.
McGowan, who is among the women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, also accused Portman of “acting the part of a woman who cares about other women”, and added that she was “disgusted” by the move.
Portman's cape, which was made by Dior, featured names including Greta Gerwig, whose movie Little Women failed to be nominated for Oscars despite rave reviews, and Melina Matsoukas, who also failed to receive a nomination for Queen & Slim.
In response, Portman said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment in the US: “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.
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"The past few years have seen a blossoming of directing opportunities for women due to the collective efforts of many people who have been calling out the system.
“The gift has been these incredible films. I hope that what was intended as a simple nod to them does not distract from their great achievements.”
Portman came under some heavy fire on Twitter too, for working with just a handful of female directors, and hiring just one – herself – to make a movie for her own production company.
She did hire British director Lynne Ramsay to make the movie Jane Got A Gun. However, Ramsay was later dismissed from the production, with Gavin O'Connor taking over.
Portman added: “It is true I’ve only made a few films with women. 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.
“After they are made, 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.”
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