Natalie Portman wore a cape embroidered with the names of snubbed female directors to this year’s Academy Awards and Rose McGowan was not impressed by the outfit.
On Tuesday, activist McGowan wrote a lengthy post on Facebook calling the cape “the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media for its bravery.”
“Brave? No, not by a long shot. More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do,” McGowan added.
McGowan called Portman’s outfit choice “deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work” and said she was writing the post “out of disgust.”
“Natalie, you have worked with two female directors in your very long career — one of them was you. You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director — you,” McGowan continued. “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.”
She said she was “singling” Portman out because she is “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. Of course women in the world will keep buying the perfumes you promote, the movies you make, and think they’re buying into who you are. But who are you?” McGowan asked.
She said that she attended a Women in Film event at which Portman spoke.
“You reeled off depressing statistics and then we all went back to our salads. I quickly realized you and the other women speakers (and that joke of an organization) are just … frauds. You say nothing, you do nothing,” McGowan wrote.
She added that “there is no law that says you need to hire women, work with women, or support women.”
“By all means, you do you. But I am saying stop pretending you’re some kind of champion for anything other than yourself.”
“As for me, I’ll be over here raising my voice and fighting for a change without any compensation. That is activism,” McGowan added.
“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.”
Portman’s cape featured the names of woman directors not nominated at this year’s Academy Awards, including Lulu Wang, Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria, Marielle Heller and Mari Diop.
“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in a subtle way,” she can be seen saying in a video.
Portman has been a long-standing proponent for including more women in Academy categories.
At the 2018 Golden Globes, the actor was a presenter for the directing category and introduced them as “the all-male nominees,” pointing out the fact that no women were nominated.
Portman has not responded to McGowan’s Facebook post as of this writing.
—With files from Meaghan Wray