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Natalie Portman's Oscars dress honors snubbed female directors

The last names of female directors embroidered on the cape included Little Women director Greta Gerwig.

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Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

At this year's 2020 Academy Awards, actress Natalie Portman made both a fashion and a feminist statement.

On the Oscars red carpet, Portman showed off a black and gold Dior Haute Couture outfit with a special touch. Embroidered in gold lettering on her cape were the last names of the female directors who were not nominated for their films: Scafaria, Wang, Gerwig, Diop, Heller, Matsoukas, Har'el and Sciamma. 

None of the female directors Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har'el (Honey Boy) and Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) were nominated for best director.

In the history of the Academy Awards, only five women have been nominated for best director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Gerwig (Lady Bird). Bigelow ended up being the only female director winner in 2010.

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Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Portman is known for pointing out gender inequality at previous awards shows. At the 2018 Golden Globes, when she presented the best director category she said, "And here are the all-male nominees."

Her ornate and poignant fashion statement caused a stir on social media. 

"Her cape gives me life. I love her. Women directors have been snubbed time and time again and it's enough!! Give them the representation and attention they deserve!" one fan tweeted

Tweeted another fan, "This... THIS is how you build women up. Well played Natalie Portman!" 

Originally published Feb. 9, 5:43 p.m. PT.