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Rose McGowan took to social media to attack Natalie Portman on her feminist Oscar protest

Rose McGowan Expresses Regret Over Her Critique of Natalie Portman's Oscar Protest

Gettyimages | John Lamparski
By Jennifer R Donnelly

Just a week after declaring that Natalie Portman wasn't doing enough to support women in the film industry, Rose McGowan has decided to apologize. McGowan, who is well-known for her role on the hit TV show Charmed, has since taken on an activist role, after coming forward with claims of rape at the hands of disgraced film producer, Harvey Weinstein. McGowan, who has been hailed for her resilience in exposing Weinstein, took offense to a recent Oscar protest involving A-list actress, Natalie Portman.

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McGowan believed Portman's protest to be in vein, citing her limited work with female directors
Gettyimages | Amy Sussman

On February 9th, Natalie Portman decided to walk the Oscar red carpet donning a Christian Dior cape, adorned with the names of female directors believed to have been neglected at the award ceremony. Portman claims she was inspired to take action after discovering that there were no women nominated for best director. Though many considered Portman's display of solidarity to have been "brave", McGowan publicly expressed outrage over the act. In a recent Facebook post McGowan addressed Portman's protest, calling it nothing more than "lip service" and stating that it was "deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work"

Natalie Portman takes a stand to address Rose McGowan's assertions that her protest was "lip service"
Gettyimages | Dia Dipasupil

She continued to air her grievances by adding: "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." Portman, aware of McGowan's criticism, decided to make a statement of her own saying: "I agree with Ms. McGowan that it is inaccurate to call me 'brave' for wearing a garment with women’s names on it. 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."

Natalie Portman speaks out on Oscar protest criticism, while acknowledging victims of Harvey Weinstein
Gettyimages | David M. Benett

Portman also expressed the following sentiment in the face of McGowan's backlash: "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. 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." Upon hearing Portman's statement, McGowan experienced a change of heart. She took to her Twitter to express her regrets in the matter, without specifically naming Portman.

McGowan's followers commend her for apology to Natalie Portman
Gettyimages | Laurent Viteur

In her recent statement on Twitter, McGowan expressed the following: "My critique should’ve been about Hollywood’s ongoing culture of silence. I realize that by critiquing someone personally, I lost sight of the bigger picture. All voices, however spoken, are valid. Let’s all keep pushing boundaries in whatever way we can, it’s time to get loud." McGowan also added that she believes all forms of protest are valid, gaining a great deal of support and encouragement from her followers. It appears that Natalie Portman wasn't the only A-list celebrity to take a stance against injustice this award season, with Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar speech going viral, as he addressed issues like gender inequality, animal advocacy, environmental concerns, racism, and queer rights. As Hollywood continues to become more proactive in effecting positive transformation, it seems there may be rejuvenated hope in addressing these issues of contention and injustice.

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