Rose McGowan furiously back-peddles from scathing criticism of Natalie Portman

Rose McGowan

Charmed actor Rose McGowan has backtracked after labelling Natalie Portman a “fraud” for wearing an Oscar dress calling attention to overlooked female directors.

Portman’s custom outfit featured the names of female filmmakers, such as Greta Gerwig and Lulu Wang, who haven’t been considered for the best director Academy Award nominations.

“I find Portman’s type of activism deeply offensive to those of us who actually do the work,” said McGowan, who is non-binary. Writing in a scathing Facebook post, she claimed the Black Swan star was just “paying lip service” and “acting the part of someone who cares”, having failed to support female directors in her own work.

“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,” she said.

Portman responded to McGowan’s criticism in a statement. “It is true I’ve only made a few films with women,” she admitted.

“In my long career, I’ve only gotten the chance to work with female directors a few times. I’ve made shorts, commercials, music videos and features with Marya Cohen, Mira Nair, Rebecca Zlotowski, Anna Rose Holmer, Sofia Coppola, Shirin Neshat, and myself. Unfortunately, the unmade films I have tried to make are a ghost history.”

It appears McGowan has now reconsidered her criticism of her fellow actress. In a tweet that does not name or apologise to Portman, she regretted that she had “lost sight of the bigger picture”.

“My critique should’ve been about Hollywood’s ongoing culture of silence. I realise that by critiquing someone personally, I lost sight of the bigger picture,” she wrote on Sunday.

“All voices, however spoken, are valid. Let’s all keep pushing boundaries in whatever way we can, it’s time to get loud.”