Natalie Portman walked the 2020 Oscars red carpet with the names of female directors embroidered on her Dior outfit, after the Academy refused to nominate a single one.
The first names of female directors overlooked by the Academy this year appeared in gold down her black cape.
“I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year,” Portman said on the red carpet.
Not a single female director was nominated for Best Director this year. Greta Gerwig was considered the biggest snub – particularly in light of Little Women‘s Best Picture nominee – but Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood), Lorene Scarfaria (Hustlers) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy) were also overlooked by the Academy.
“Congratulations to these men,” Issa Rae said when she announced the all-male nominees: Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood) and Bong Joon Ho (Parasite).
Only one woman has ever won Best Director in the Academy Awards’ 92-year history: Kathryn Bigeglow, who won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. Only four other women have ever been nominated.
In fact, Portman called out Hollywood at large for not recognising female directors back in 2018. While presenting the Best Director award during the Golden Globes, she announced the “all male nominee” line-up. (Gerwig might not have been recognised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that year, which votes on the Golden Globes, but she was nominated for Best Director at the Oscars for Lady Bird, later losing to Guillermo del Toro.)