On Wednesday, McGowan - an activist who regularly rallies for women in the film industry and who came forward as a Harvey Weinstein accuser in 2017 - lambasted Portman in a strongly worded statement saying she finds her "type of activism deeply offensive to those who actually do the work".
The Black Swan actor, who took to the Oscars red carpet in a Dior couture cape embroidered with the names of the female directors snubbed by the Academy, was called out by McGowan, who called Portman a "fraud", and said wearing the cloak wasn't an act of bravery but "an actress acting the part of someone who cares". Now the target of McGowan's ire has responded, brushing aside any suggestions that the protest-by-needlework was fearless ("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") and answering accusations that she has rarely emboldened female film-makers in her own career choices: "Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history". Courageous is. term I more strongly associate with actions like those of the women who have been testifying against Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks, under incredible pressure'.
Included amongst the list of snubbed female directors was Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Alma Har'el (Honey Boy). "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 explained.
She then defended herself against McGowan's critique of working with few female directors, by arguing that female-led films are often very hard to get made, financed, distributed and awarded appropriately "because of the gatekeepers at every level". I just want her and other actresses to walk the walk. 'While I have not yet been successful, I am hopeful that we are stepping into a new day'. 'You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director- you'. "More like an actress acting the part of someone who cares", McGowan began. McGowan, however, took to her Facebook page on Tuesday to protest against the actresses "deeply offensive" dress.
Portman responded to McGowan's criticism with. agreement. "Brave? No, not by a long shot", she wrote. I'm not writing this out of bitterness, I am writing out of disgust.
"Stop pretending you're some kind of champion for anything other than yourself".
"It is true I've only made a few films with women", she continued. ALL women need to support each other, no matter what field they choose to work in. "Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history".