Actress and activist Rose McGowan, whose revelations about Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement, has expressed regret over her past comments on Natalie Portman’s Oscars dress.
The garment, which had the names of several snubbed female filmmakers embroidered onto the fabric, was intended to highlight the lack of women nominated in certain categories, including Best Director.
McGowan subsequently criticised Portman for the stunt, calling the dress “deeply offensive” and accusing the Academy Award-winner of “acting the part of someone who cares”.
Earlier on the red carpet, Portman explained that she “wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year in my subtle way.” In a later statement, the actress agreed with McGowan that she wasn’t “brave” for wearing the dress, which appears to have now prompted a slightly tempered response from McGowan.
McGowan didn’t directly apologise to or name Portman in a new post on Twitter, instead writing: “My critique should’ve been about Hollywood’s ongoing culture of silence. I realise that by critiquing someone personally, I lost sight of the bigger picture.”
She added: “All voices, however spoken, are valid. Let’s all keep pushing boundaries in whatever way we can, it’s time to get loud.”
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.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 17, 2020
Among the directors Portman nodded to with her Oscars dress were Hustlers‘ Lorene Scafaria, Little Women‘s Greta Gerwig, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood‘s Marielle Heller, Queen & Slim‘s Melina Matsoukas and Portrait of a Lady on Fire‘s Céline Sciamma.
This isn’t the first time Portman has spoken out about the lack of female nominees at major awards ceremonies. At the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, while presenting the Best Director award, she famously noted the “all-male nominees” shortlist.
“We have to make it weird for people to walk in a room where everyone’s not in the room,” she later explained. “If you look around a room and everyone looks like you, get out of that room. Or change that room.”