Rose McGowan calls Natalie Portman a fraud for Oscars cape protest
Rose McGowan has called out Natalie Portman’s red carpet protest, labelling her a hypocrite and despite support online, the Oscar-winner says McGowan is right.
The New York Post reports that the actress and Harvey Weinstein accuser, 46, called out Portman in a lengthy Facebook post, accusing her of not taking the actions to support women in the industry.
Portman, 38, attended the awards show wearing a black and gold Dior dress with a cape embroidered with the names of the female directors who were snubbed by the Academy: Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (“Atlantics”), Marianne Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood”), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
“I find 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. I just want her and other actresses to walk the walk,” McGowan said. “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.”
“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. Yes, you, Natalie. You are the problem. Lip service is the problem. Fake support of other women is the problem.”
McGowan also recalled a Women in Film event that she attended, at which Portman “reeled off depressing statistics and then we all went back to our salads.”
She called the female speakers “frauds,” referring to the organisation itself as a “joke.”
McGowan also plugged her book, Brave, in which she details multiple alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein, whom she only refers to as “the monster.”
Portman has been outspoken against abuse and manipulation in the industry, and supports the Time’s Up movement.
“I am singling you out because you are the latest in a long line of actresses who are acting the part of a woman who cares about other women,” McGowan wrote. “Actresses who supposedly stand for women, but in reality do not do much at all.”
“Until you and your fellow actresses get real, do us all a favour and hang up your embroidered activist cloak, it doesn’t hang right,” she concluded.
Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria, whose name appeared on Portman’s cape, said “Thank you for this”.
“This is one of the 1 million reasons I love you,” Reese Witherspoon wrote.
“This cape solidified your super hero status,” actress Kerry Washington wrote.
Though some supported McGowan in the comments, plenty also scolded her for the harsh critique. “You don’t get to decide what her effort means or say what she’s feeling. You don’t get to tear another woman down,” one person said.
“Just because you believe one is the right way to protest does not mean she is in the wrong. I thought you were about uplifting woman and standing together?,” another wrote.
However, Portman responded saying McGowan was right and that her dress was not in fact “brave”.
“I agree with Ms McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me ‘brave’ for wearing a garment with women’s names on it,’ she said in a statement. “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.’
“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 … 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.
“After they are made, female-directed films face difficulty getting into festivals, getting distribution and getting accolades because of the gatekeepers at every level,” she said. “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.”
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission