Natalie Portman’s Infamous Jab At The 2018 Golden Globes’ Lack Of Female Director Nominees Has Resurfaced Online, And It’s Reminded People About Kirsten Dunst’s Comments

“Natalie Portman has her OWN production company and is one of the few that can hire female directors [...] I’m convinced she just said this on stage for brownie points,” one person said.

It's been six years since Natalie Portman caused a stir after calling out the 2018 Golden Globes for the lack of female nominees in the Director of a Motion Picture category.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

Directors Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, Martin McDonagh, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg were nominated in the category that year, with Guillermo taking home the award for his fantasy film The Shape of Water.

Close-up of Guillermo kissing an award

Meanwhile, it was widely agreed among fans and critics that the likes of Greta Gerwig and Patty Jenkins were massively snubbed in the Best Director category for their respective films Lady Bird and Wonder Woman.

Close-up of Greta onstage at a microphone

Well, Natalie seemingly alluded to this as she presented the Golden Globe alongside director Ron Howard. Introducing the nominees, the Black Swan actor said, “And here are the all-male nominees for Best Director.”

Natalie and Ron onstage

Natalie’s remark was immediately met with audible gasps from the crowd, and she attracted widespread attention in the media afterward — both positive and negative.

Close-up of Natalie in a sparkly outfit

On the one hand, several people — including celebrities like Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, and Gina Rodriguez — praised Natalie for taking a stand against the all-male nominee list.

"And here are the all male nominees." Natalie Portman calls it for what it is.

— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 8, 2018
Twitter: @shondarhimes

However, some social media users felt that Natalie’s comment didn’t hold much weight, given that she’d worked with few female directors herself throughout her decadeslong career.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

This discourse only increased two years later after Natalie made another public statement at the 2020 Oscars by rocking up in a cape that had the names of women who had been snubbed for Best Director.

Close-up of Natalie smiling at a media event

“I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” she said of her decision to wear the cape, which featured names like Greta Gerwig, Lorene Scafaria, and Lulu Wang.

Once again, while several internet users applauded Natalie’s move, many others couldn’t help questioning why she wasn’t doing more to work with female film directors in her own career.

Close-up of Natalie smiling at a media event

Most memorably, actor and activist Rose McGowan called out Natalie in a lengthy statement shared to Facebook, in which she called the move “offensive” and reminded people that Natalie herself had rarely worked with female directors on films.

Close-up of Rose holding a microphone

“You have a production company that has hired exactly one female director — you,” Rose wrote in part, referring to Natalie’s company, Handsomecharlie Films, which was launched back in 2008.

Close-up of Natalie

“I am singling you out because you are the latest in a long line of actresses who are acting the part of a woman who cares about other women. Actresses who supposedly stand for women, but in reality do not do much at all,” Rose added.

Close-up of Rose seated

In response, Natalie penned a statement agreeing that she’d “only made a few films with women” throughout her career, though she claimed that she’d long tried to do more work with women on movies behind the scenes.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

“Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history,” she wrote. “I have had the experience a few times of helping get female directors hired on projects which they were then forced out of because of the conditions they faced at work. After they are made, female-directed films face difficulty getting into festivals, getting distribution and getting accolades because of the gatekeepers at every level.”

Ultimately, Natalie noted that she was going to “keep trying” to work with more female directors in the future. “I want to say, I have tried, and I will keep trying. While I have not yet been successful, I am hopeful that we are stepping into a new day,” she said.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

Well, fast-forward to today, and Natalie’s past comments are being discussed across social media after her jab at the 2018 Golden Globes resurfaced online — with many users pointing out that over the six years that have since passed, she’s worked with no female directors herself on movies.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

In 2018, Natalie starred in Annihilation, which was directed by Alex Garland; Vox Lux, directed by Brady Corbet; and The Death & Life of John F. Donovan, directed by Xavier Dolan. She also narrated Dolphin Reef, which was directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey.

Natalie at a media event with Brady

The following year, Natalie featured in the 2019 psychological drama Lucy in the Sky, which was directed, coproduced, and cowritten by Noah Hawley.

And perhaps most prominently, Natalie starred in Avengers: Endgame (2019), which was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and later Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), directed by Taika Waititi.

Natalie hugging Taika onstage

More recently, Natalie was featured in the 2023 film May December, which Todd Haynes directed.

Natalie with Todd on a panel

It’s important to note that Natalie has recently worked with female director Alma Har’el on the Apple TV+ series Lady in the Lake. However, it’s evident that she hasn’t worked with any female directors in the movies she’s starred in — which is the very topic she called out the Golden Globes and Oscars for.

Close-up of Natalie

Now discussing this across X (formerly known as Twitter), many people have suggested that Natalie’s lack of work with female directors is not just hypocritical but especially disappointing given that — as Rose pointed out in 2020 — she owns her own production company and, thus, is in a better position than most to help put female directors on the map.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

“I feel it’s important to point out that since making this ‘stand’, Natalie Portman has worked with a grand total of zero female directors,” one person tweeted. “performative at its finest,” another person added.

Close-up of Natalie smiling at a media event

“you know what would actually be good? instead of just having this ‘gotcha’ moments at award shows - that are actually meaningless, what about using your production company to... idk, produce and support female directors?” someone wrote.

Close-up of Natalie seated and speaking into a microphone

Meanwhile, Natalie’s comments inadvertently wound up reminding people of the time Kirsten Dunst called out several prominent female actors for not making more of an effort to actively seek out female directors on projects.

Close-up of Kirsten

Back in 2016, Kirsten sat down for the Hollywood Reporter's Actresses Roundtable alongside the likes of Julianna Margulies, Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Sarah Paulson, Regina King, and Constance Zimmer.

Close-up of Kirsten

And while her fellow actors were complaining about the lack of female directors in Hollywood, Kirsten reminded them all that if they really do want to work with women, they’re able to do so.

Close-up of Kirsten seated at a table

“You know what’s so funny? I've worked with a bunch of female directors,” she said before citing Sofia Coppola, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and Leslie Headland.

Close-up of Kirsten and Sofia

“I think because I have really, really strong female relationships,” Kirsten explained, adding that she loves women “so much.” She went on, “It’s up to us as actresses to ... give the opportunity to first-time directors.”

Bringing Kirsten’s comments into view now, several people questioned why Natalie — especially since she owns a production company — hasn’t made more of an effort to work with female movie directors in the past six years.

Close-up of Natalie at a media event

“ever since kirsten clocked this tea I haven’t looked at these girls the same bc you’re just not putting in effort clearly,” one person tweeted in response to the resurfaced clip of Natalie’s 2018 Golden Globes jab.

Close-up of Kirsten seated at a table

“Natalie Portman has her OWN production company and is one of the few that can hire female directors,” one person tweeted. “I’m convinced she just said this on stage for brownie points, now if we were talking about Kirsten Dunst that would be a whole other story.”

Close-up of Kirsten at a media event
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