- Natalie Portman wore a cape to the Oscars with the names of female directors who were snubbed by the Academy.
- She got backlash because her production company hasn’t hired female directors aside from herself.
- Natalie finally responded to the backlash with a statement after Rose McGowan weighed in.
Update: February 12, 2020
Looks like Natalie finally caught wind of the backlash she received for her cape, because she responded—but not before Rose McGowan critiqued Natalie’s actions on Facebook, which you can read in full below:
Natalie released her statement through the Hollywood Reporter and acknowledged her fault in not having enough women employed, saying she’ll do better to hire more women in the future.
“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,” Natalie’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 added. “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.”
Not sure what else to say besides...seeing is believing!
Update: February 11, 2020
Welp, remember when Natalie wore that cape with female directors’ names embroidered on it to the Oscars on Sunday? Twitter has a LOT to say about it and is dragging her for not practicing what she preaches. Her production company Handsomecharlie Films has a total of eight films (and three more upcoming projects), but apparently the only female director it hired was none other than Natalie herself.
i wonder if this means her production company will finally produce a film with a female director https://t.co/5J9bEANXD0— KATE 🔜 #SXSW (@OhMyMithrandir) February 10, 2020
Natalie Portman’s production company has only ever hired 1 female director (her name was Natalie Portman) https://t.co/DRUVM1oezW— Angela Morabito (@AngelaLMorabito) February 11, 2020
Many also called it “performative” and an example of white feminism.
natalie portman is sweet i like her but this is the Whitest Woman shit ive ever seen https://t.co/O0APBAwEpu— #⃝🌈🐸🍰₁₂₇ (@iluvrow3000n) February 10, 2020
Really brave of Natalie Portman to elevate the voices of [checks notes] white women in Hollywood through the medium of [squints harder] ...a garment that she will wear exactly once made by a brand that doesn’t pay a living wage— Eli Goldstone (@eligoldstone) February 10, 2020
In a nearly 30 year career she has worked with 2 female directors. Be the change you want to see, do the hard work, take the first steps. I applaud you for the dress, but let’s do, not perform. https://t.co/HoW6o4BUOm— Hannah Beachler (@chinchilla1970) February 10, 2020
Original story: February 9, 2020
It’s the Academy Awards, baby. The ceiling is literally caving in! Billie Eilish is *gasp* not wearing Gucci! J.Lo isn’t there and had a casual dinner with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle instead! There’s truly a lot going on, and it’s barely started. Also happening tonight? The stunning red-carpet looks, duh, including Natalie Portman’s gorge Dior gown with sheer insets, gold embroidery, and a badass-looking cape. Like, you can’t NOT love this whole ensemble.
And while I’m waiting for the moment she dramatically whips off the cape, there is actually a cool detail about it: It features the names of women directors, which are subtly embroidered along the trim. We stan a supportive queen. Here’s a close-up:
While it can be a tad hard to read (that cursive is beautiful though), here are some of the names listed with the movies they directed:
- Greta Gerwig, Little Women
- Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers
- Lulu Wang, The Farewell
- Mati Diop, Atlantics
- Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
- Melina Matsoukas, Queen and Slim
- Alma Har’el, Honey Boy
- Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
In sadly unsurprising but still outrageous news, there were no women directors nominated this year even though there were so many incredible ones to choose from?! It boggles the mind. If you can remember, Natalie also had a viral moment at the 2018 Golden Globes when she presented the “all-male nominees.” I’ll just drop the video in case you wanna watch the epic moment again, because it was truly a gift.
I’m here for this much-needed shout-out and reminder of how the Academy has a long way to go to improve gender equality (and just diversity in general?). “I wanted to recognize the women [directors] who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in a subtle way,” Natalie told L.A. Times reporter Amy Kaufman on the carpet. Looks like she delivered!
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