At this year’s Academy Awards, Natalie Portman wants you to talk about women. The actress showed up on the red carpet wearing a statement: a black and gold Dior Haute Couture cape embroidered with the names of the female directors who weren’t nominated for an Oscar.
In the above video, Portman explains her decision, saying, “I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way.” The women featured on her cape include Lulu Wang, who directed The Farewell; Greta Gerwig who directed Little Women; Lorene Scafaria who directed Hustlers; Melina Matsoukas, who directed Queen & Slim; Marielle Heller, who directed A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; Mati Diop, who directed Atlantics; Alma Har’el, who directed Honey Boy; and Céline Sciamma, who directed Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
The only one of these women to get any sort of nomination at the 2020 Academy Awards is Greta Gerwig, who is nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Little Women. Instead, only men were nominated in the Best Director category, highlighting a persistent and disappointing trend in Hollywood. Though, as Portman’s cape depicts, a number of women created incredible films this year, they have yet to be recognized at the same rate as their male colleagues.
Portman also called out the lack of recognition for female directors at the 2018 Golden Globes. She presented the Best Director category and said, “And here are the all-male nominees.”
Only five women have ever been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, and Kathryn Bigelow remains the only woman to win, for The Hurt Locker in 2010. Unfortunately, those statistics won’t be changing tonight.