On Wednesday, just one day after Rose McGowan expressed scathing criticism about Natalie Portman’s Oscar ensemble, the actress and filmmaker has fired back with a statement of her own.
“I agree with Ms. McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me ‘brave’ for wearing a garment with women’s names on it,” Portman said in response to McGowan, who called her a “fraud.” “Brave is a term I more strongly associate with actions like those of the women who have been testifying against Harvey Weinstein the last few weeks, under incredible pressure.”
In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, McGowan fired off on Portman’s pro-female director ensemble, which featured the names of female filmmakers who were snubbed by the Academy. While Portman’s dress was praised by many, acknowledged as an opportunity to stand in solidarity with women, others, including McGowan, were unamused.
“I find Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work,” McGowan said, later adding, “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.”
In response, Portman acknowledged McGowan’s concerns, all while defending herself and her commitment to working with women.
“It is true I’ve only made a few films with women. In my long career, I’ve only gotten the chance to work with female directors a few times – 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 said. “Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history,” Portman explained, as she addressed her production company, which has produced eight films, all of which lists Portman as the only director. “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.”