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Rose McGowan To Natalie Portman: 'You Are The Problem'

Gettyimages | David Levenson
By Michael Coe

Natalie Portman caused a stir at the Oscars ceremonies this weekend by donning a black Dior cape emblazoned with the names of several female directors who had been snubbed from the Best Director category, including Little Women director Greta Gerwig, Honey Boy director Alma Har’el, and Queen And Slim director Melina Matsoukas. The "protest cape" received attention for its subtle approach to Oscars criticism, but not all of the attention thus far has been positive. Rose McGowan recently took to Facebook to offer a harsh critique of Portman's approach.

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Gettyimages | David M. Benett

McGowan wrote a lengthy post cataloguing all the reasons that she believes Portman's "protest cape" was inadequate. McGowan opened her statement by refuting the positive sentiments directed Portman for her protest, writing, "some thoughts on Natalie Portman and her Oscar ‘protest.’ 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."

Gettyimages | Paul Zimmerman

McGowan went on to offer more intense criticism of Portman's protest by calling it, "deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work" and claimed, "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 continued by accusing Portman of misusing her "A-list" status and offering "fake support" to feminist causes. McGowan wrote, "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."

Gettyimages | Amy Sussman

McGowan's central point appeared to be that Portman's brand of activism is superficial and has no legitimate impact on gender disparities in the entertainment industry. McGowan cited the fact that Portman owns a production company that has only hired one female director as proof of the actress's hypocrisy. McGowan also referenced a "Women In Film" event she attended with Portman and claimed Portman had performed a similarly "empty" protest by "[reeling] off depressing statistics" before "we all went back to our salads."

Gettyimages | AFP Contributor

McGowan concluded her post by telling Portman to, "stop pretending you’re some kind of champion for anything other than yourself" and asking her to, "do us all a favor and hang up your embroidered activist cloak, it doesn’t hang right."

This recent call-out post is not unprecedented for McGowan. As a vocal advocate for feminism, McGowan has frequently taken many of her peers to task, such as Ben Affleck (who McGowan claimed "lied" about feeling sorry for Harvey Weinstein's victims) and Adam Sandler (who McGowan called out on Twitter for a "sexist" casting call post). McGowan was also notably a major part of the campaign to bring Harvey Weinstein to justice.

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