Natalie Portman responds to Rose McGowan's criticism over her Oscars dress

The Editors
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From Harper's BAZAAR

Natalie Portman has addressed Rose McGowan's criticism of her Oscars look. The actress' Dior cape featured an embroidered list of female film directors who had been snubbed by the Academy as a subtle show of solidarity.

McGowan called Portman out for only having worked with two female film directors over the course of her career, with one of them being herself. In an impassioned Facebook post, she said she found Portman's "type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work", writing that she is the part of the issue. "Lip service is the problem," she said. "Fake support of other women is the problem."

Photo credit: Steve Granitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: ROBYN BECK - Getty Images

Portman has now issued a statement via the BBC, arguing that - while it's true that she's only made a few films with women - it comes as a result of the challenges faced in terms of funding when a woman is at the helm of a movie.

"In my long career, I've only gotten the chance to work with female directors a few times," said Portman. "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."

She added that many of the female-helmed films she has made have fallen through. "Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history," she said.

"Female films have been incredibly hard to get made at studios, or to get independently financed. If these films do get made, women face enormous challenges during the making of them. "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.

"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," she concluded. "While I have not yet been successful, I am hopeful that we are stepping into a new day."

Both Portman and McGowan have been instrumental in the #MeToo movement. The latter was one of the first to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual assault, while Portman has been using her platform to speak out in support of women's rights over the last two years.

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