We all know these common sayings: “If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk,” “Do as I say, not as I do,” and “You have to practice what you preach.” They all basically mean the same thing—if you want to be the person to tell everyone else how to do things the correct way, then you, yourself, better be doing things that way too, or you look like an asshole. Well, unfortunately for Natalie Portman, it appears that a well-intentioned silent protest at this year’s Oscars has backfired because the actress arguably isn’t walking the walk.
In case you missed it, Portman, an Oscar-winning actress herself, showed up at the ceremony on Sunday and walked the red carpet with a bit of a show-stopping outfit. The outfit itself wasn’t all that crazy, but the jacket she wore had a hidden message, as she had the names of snubbed female filmmakers embroidered on the trim. Names such as Greta Gerwig, Alma Har’el, Lorene Scfaria, Céline Sciamma, and Lulu Wang, as well as several more, were written in gold along the trim of her overcoat. The message was clear—female filmmakers need to be recognized by the Academy. A lovely sentiment. But one that folks pointed out shouldn’t be preached by Natalie Portman.
Almost instantly, once word got out that Portman was making a statement, social media was ablaze with folks (including many, many women) bringing up the fact that the actress should first support female filmmakers with her production company before she lectures others on inclusivity. Many, including actress/activist Rose McGowan, brought up that Portman’s own production company has only worked with one female filmmaker—you guessed it, Natalie Portman. So, as you might expect, people weren’t happy about her Oscars stunt.
McGowan took to Facebook and wrote, “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.”
“What is it with actresses of your ilk?” she added. “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 was far from the only one. You can see more examples of folks taking issue with Portman’s outfit below, as well as the actress discussing why she wore the coat.