Rose McGowan has lashed out at Natalie Portman over a cape the actor wore to the 92nd Academy Awards, which featured the embroidered names of snubbed female directors.
McGowan, a prominent activist in the #MeToo movement, attacked Portman in a Facebook post published after the ceremony, in which she branded the outfit “the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media for its bravery”.
“Brave?” she wrote. “No, no by a long shot. More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do.”
McGowan challenged Portman to “walk the walk”.
“I find Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work,” she said. “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.”
McGowan then suggested that Portman work with more than the “two” female directors she has collaborated with over the course of her career, and also hire more female directors at her production company, Handsomecharlie Films.
“What is it with actresses of your ilk?” she wrote. “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.”
While Portman’s outfit did cause a stir on the red carpet, she received a backlash from some who felt she was being hypocritical.
“In a nearly 30 year career she has worked with 2 female directors,” one social media user wrote. “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.”
This was by far the first time Portman had made a statement on inequality in Hollywood.
She famously called out the lack of female directors nominated at the Golden Globes in 2018, when she presented the Best Director award as: “And here are the all male nominees.”