Rose McGowan, who has been beyond the veil of Hollywood, again has slammed the virtue-signaling and gesture politics of celebrities.
She called her a “fraud” who wasn’t committing an act of bravery: “More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares.”
“Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work. I’m not writing this out of bitterness, I am writing out of disgust.”
The Academy Award winner, 38, donned a custom Dior cape embroidered with the names of some female directors who were overlooked by the Academy this past year for their work.
“Natalie, you have worked with two female directors in your very long career – one of them was you,” McGowan wrote. “You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director – you.
“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,” she continued.
“Yes, you, Natalie. You are the problem. Lip service is the problem. Fake support of other women is the problem.”
Wednesday Portman responded.
“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. “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.
“The past few years have seen a blossoming of directing opportunities for women due to the collective efforts of many people who have been calling out the system,” Portman continued. “The gift has been these incredible films. I hope that what was intended as a simple nod to them does not distract from their great achievements. 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. Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history.
“If these films do get made, women face enormous challenges during the making of them. 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 continued. “After they are made, female-directed films face difficulty getting into festivals, getting distribution and getting accolades because of the gatekeepers at every level. 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.”
Portman’s gown featured the names of directors Lorene Scafaria ("Hustlers"), Lulu Wang ("The Farewell"), Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”), Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim”) Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”), Céline Sciamma (“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”), and Mati Diop (“Atlantics”).
This year the directing category was filled with all-male nominees for the second year in a row, which prompted backlash on social media about the lack of inclusivity and diversity at major awards shows.
In the #MeToo era, McGowan, who has accused the disgraced movie mogul of raping her in 1997 during the Sundance film festival, has been very vocally critical on social media about Hollywood’s public and private voice.
The news comes in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations against film producer Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of sexual abuse.
The defense rested its case Tuesday in Weinstein’s rape trial without the disgraced Hollywood mogul taking the witness stand, setting the stage for closing arguments in a landmark #MeToo trial punctuated by graphic testimony from six accusers.
As expected, Weinstein chose not to testify, avoiding the risk of having prosecutors grill him on cross-examination about the vile allegations. He confirmed the decision after returning to the courtroom from meeting with his lawyers behind closed doors for about a half-hour as speculation swirled that he was pushing to testify.
Asked as he left court if he was thinking of testifying, Weinstein said: “I wanted to.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.