Natalie Portman hits back after Rose McGowan's scathing attack on her Oscar outfit

Actress Natalie Portman has responded to Rose McGowan's scathing attack on her "Oscar protest" and supposed lack of support for female filmmakers.

At the 92nd Academy Awards on Monday (NZT), Portman wore a custom-designed Dior gown and cape which featured the names of many of the female directors not nominated at the award ceremony. The Oscars came under fire this year for not nominating any women in the top category.

While the initial response to Portman's outfit was overwhelmingly positive on social media, McGowan - an actress who appeared in Scream and Grindhouse - called Portman out, saying Portman's activism was "deeply offensive".

She explained that Portman had only ever worked with two female directors - one being herself - and had a production company which had only hired one female director - again Portman, herself.

"Yes, you, Natalie. You are the problem. Lip service is the problem. Fake support of other women is the problem," McGowan wrote in a Facebook post which also included calling Portman a "fraud".

"There is no law that says you need to hire women, work with women, or support women. By all means, you do you. But I am saying stop pretending you’re some kind of champion for anything other than yourself."

Portman has now responded, saying in a statement issued to the BBC that while she has only made a few films with women, she has worked with multiple women for short films, commercials, music videos and features. She named the likes of Sofia Coppola and Marya Cohen. 

The actress also said there were projects she had worked with women on that had never come to fruition.

"Female films have been incredibly hard to get made at studios, or to get independently financed. If these films do get made, women face enormous challenges during the making of them.

"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.

"So 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."

The scathing attack from McGowan - who recently received attention after alleging she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein - has received more than 3000 likes and 300 shares.

Much of the response in the comment section to McGowan was negative. 

"What happened to building each other up? A woman tearing down another woman says more about you then it does about her," one said.

"Public shaming [of] women is a part of the problem and you're doing that! Do you want to be the pot or the kettle here today Rose?" said another.