For a second year in a row, the Oscars had no female directors nominated for its top award, snubbing the likes of Greta Gerwig for "," Lulu Wang for "The Farewell" and Marielle Heller for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."
At first glance, many wouldn't notice the statement being made by Portman's Dior Haute Couture dress as she stepped on the red carpet in Los Angeles. However, on closer inspection, the star had the names of several female directors who were not nominated this year embroidered on her cape.
"I wanted to recognize the women who were not recognized for their incredible work this year in a subtle way," the actress told the LA Times.
Portman has previously been outspoken about the lack of female representation in the best director category. "Here are the all-male nominees," she said when she presented the award during the 2018 Golden Globes.
During Sunday's opening performance, Janelle Monáe also took a moment to acknowledge female directors. "Tonight we celebrate all the talent in this room, we celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films," she said.
Earlier this year, while announcing the best director nominees, actress Issa Rae couldn't help but make a quip at the male-dominated category. "Congratulations to all those men," she said.
As it stands, Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to win best director in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards for her 2008 movie "The Hurt Locker."