Rose McGowan called Natalie Portman a “fraud” for her Oscars ensemble that featured the names of snubbed female directors, including Greta Gerwig, Marielle Heller and Lorene Scafaria.
“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 wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Though Portman has been vocal about the industry’s lack of attention toward female filmmakers (only five woman directors have ever been nominated in the 92-years history of the Oscars), McGowan wrote that Portman’s recent fashion statement was “deeply offensive” to activists like herself.
McGowan called out Portman for only working with two female directors over the course of her career, adding that Portman’s production company Handsomecharlie Films has only hired one female director (that being Portman). However, Portman has worked with numerous female directors, including Mira Nair for “New York, I Love You,” Rebecca Zlotowski for “Planetarium” and Vanita Shastry for “The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards.” She has also collaborated with women on short films, music videos and Dior commercials with Sofia Coppola.
“What is it with actresses of your ilk? You ‘A-listers’ could change the world if you’d take a stand instead of being the problem,” McGowan wrote. “Yes, you, Natalie. You are the problem. Lip service is the problem. Fake support of other women is the problem.”
McGowan continued, “I was at a Women in Film event that you spoke at once, Natalie. 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.”
She concluded by urging Portman to “hang up [her] embroidered activist cloak” adding that “it doesn’t hang right.”
“There is no law that says you need to hire women, work with women, or support women. By all means, you do you,” McGowan said. “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 change without any compensation. That is activism.”