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Like many of us, Natalie Portman was likely outraged over the lack of female representation in the Academy Awards category of Best Director, as visionaries like Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) were ignored in favor of their male counterparts. Unlike most of us, however, Portman had the opportunity to make a statement about these egregious oversights on the Oscars red carpet last night. Stitched into Portman’s Dior cape were the names of the above women, along with Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Mati Diop (Atlantics), and Céline Sciamma (Portrait Of A Lady On Fire), as a visual representation of the abundance of the snubs.

When asked by a reporter on the red carpet about her outfit, Portman stated: “I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my… subtle way.” While a strong statement for the red carpet, it was definitely subtle, as it was difficult to make out the directors’ names in gold embroidery. And Portman left the cape behind when she stepped onto the Oscar stage later as a presenter.


But this isn’t the first time Portman has spoken out against the prominence of male directors at award shows; remember when she announced the Golden Globes nominees?

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Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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