Oscars 2020: Natalie Portman's dress names female directors to snub Academy Awards

Portman's embroidered black cape started trending on Twitter soon after her red carpet appearance for the award ceremony

Upset over the non-inclusion of women directors in the Best Director category of the Academy Awards, Natalie Portman expressed her ire by wearing a cape embroidered with names of the women directors snubbed by the Academy.

Oscars 2020 faced a lot of criticism after the nominations list failed include any female director for the Best Director. This year's all-male list of nominees for Best Director includes: Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Todd Phillips for Joker, Sam Mendes for 1917, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Bong Joon-ho for Parasite.

Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman Wikimedia Commons

Portman's black cape represented the overlooked female directors

Dressed in a black-and-gold embroidered dress by Dior, Portman wore a black cape as she arrived at the Red Carpet for the ceremony. The actress was to present an award at the show.

However, more than the dress, what caught the fancy of the onlookers were the names of the female directors embroidered on the cape's lapel. Those who featured on Portman's cape included Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marianne Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).

When asked about the reason behind wearing the names of female directors to Oscars, Portman said: "I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way."

It isn't Portman's first time standing for female power

The 38-year-old Portman has been quite vocal about her displeasure toward the gender discrimination within the industry. In 2018, while presenting the Golden Globes award for Best Director, she remarked before announcing the names of the nominees: "And now, here are the all-male nominees." Her statement was met with a series of applause.

Ever since its conception, only five female directors have made it to the Best Director nominees list including Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties,1977), Jane Campion (The Piano,1994), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2004), Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker, 2010), and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2018). Out of these five nominees, only Bigelow took home the trophy for her movie about the Iraq war.

Last month, while announcing the best director nominations for the 92nd Oscars, HBO's Insecure star, Issa Rae summed up her feelings in four words: "Congratulations to those men." The statement was made soon after Rae read out the name of the nominees in the Best Director category.

Twitter hails Portman as her dress goes viral

It was not a long before Portman's dress started trending on social media, with many hailing her decision as a perfect answer to Oscar's snub.

Tweeting a close up of her name on Portman's cape, Alma Har'el wrote: "My first time at the #Oscars. Couldn't have been more beautiful." "Her cape gives me life. I love her. Women directors have been snubbed time and time again and it's enough!! Give them the representation and attention they deserve!" tweeted another user. "This... THIS is how you build women up. Well played Natalie Portman!" wrote another.