Natalie Portman Speaks Out About Roman Polanski and Woody Allen
"Let's not talk about what man's career is over. Let's talk about the vast art trove we've lost by not giving women, people of colour, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities"
Published Feb 21, 2018A fervent supporter of the Time's Up movement, Natalie Portman has used her platform as a Saturday Night Live host and Golden Globes presenter to make bold political statements in recent months. Now, she's directly responded to her past support of controversial Hollywood figures like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.
In a new interview with BuzzFeed, the Annihilation actress admitted that she regrets signing a 2009 petition to free Polanski after he was arrested in Switzerland on a warrant related to the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl.
"I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough," Portman said. "Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, 'I signed this. Will you too?' And I was like, 'Sure.' It was a mistake."
She added that the foible had taught her to have empathy for people who make mistakes, and that she has since had her "eyes opened."
Portman also affirmed her support for Dylan Farrow, who has long accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her as a child. Though the allegations were never proven in court, Portman stressed the importance of listening to accusers' stories in a world where "we know that women are systematically not listened to."
Portman had a role in Allen's 1996 film Everyone Says I Love You, but when asked if she thought the filmmaker's career was up, she instead switched the focus onto other artists who should have careers.
"I don't think that's what the conversation should be about," she said. "I think it should be about: Why didn't Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn't Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where's the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don't we see any Asian women in films?"
She continued: "There's so much art that's being lost by not giving opportunities to women and people of colour,. Let's not talk about what man's career is over. Let's talk about the vast art trove we've lost by not giving women, people of colour, people with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities — let's talk about that loss for all of us in art. Let's talk about that huge hole in our culture."
Read the full interview here.