Portman wore the names of snubbed female directors on her Oscar night cape. Says McGowan, [D]o us all a favor and hang up your embroidered activist cloak, it doesnt hang right.
Portman received widespread praise on Sunday for her cloak; it felt like a canny callback to the 2018 Golden Globes, where the actor first introduced the directing category by saying, And here are the all-male nominees. But McGowan was not so dazzled. Portmans cape is the kind of protest that gets rave reviews from the mainstream media for its bravery, she wrote. Brave? No, not by a long shot. More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares. As so many of them do.
I find Portmans type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work, McGowan continued. Im not writing this out of bitterness, I am writing out of disgust.
What is it with actresses of your ilk? McGowan wrote. You A-listers () could change the world if youd 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.
There is no law that says you need to hire women, work with women, or support women, McGowan added. By all means, you do you. But I am saying stop pretending youre some kind of champion for anything other than yourself. ... Until you and your fellow actresses get real, do us all a favor and hang up your embroidered activist cloak, it doesnt hang right.
It is true Ive only made a few films with women, Portman continued. In my long career, Ive only gotten the chance to work with female directors a few timesIve made shorts, commercials, music videos and features with Marya Cohen, Mira Nair, Rebecca Zlotowski, Anna Rose Holmer, Sofia Coppola, Shirin Neshat and myself. Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history.
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, Portman 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.