While being honored at Variety’s Power of Women event earlier this week, Natalie Portman offered a list of guidelines for listeners to abide by in order to bring about gender parity — or at least move closer to it. In addition to pointing out the dispiriting statistic that “only 11% of the top 250 films last year were directed by women,” the Academy Award winner touched on everything from donating to Time’s Up and not depicting violence against women to hiring more women in influential roles.
Portman — back in the Oscar race this year for her performance in Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” — also discussed the legal cases of both Brett Ratner and Harvey Weinstein, whom she said have tried to silence their alleged victims. Ratner recently dropped a defamation case against his accuser Melanie Kohler after she received financial assistance from Time’s Up, prompting Portman to note that the filmmaker “saw that she could not be bullied legally just because he has hundreds of millions of dollars and she does not.
“Many men are behaving like we live in a zero-sum game. That if women get the respect, access and value we deserve, they will lose,” Portman said. “But we know the message of the mammaries: The more milk you give, the more milk you make. The more love you give, the more love you have. And the same can be said of fire. When you light someone else’s torch with your own, you don’t lose your fire, you just make more light and more heat.”
“Light a woman’s torch,” Portman added. “The light will multiply and the heat will intensify for all of us.” Watch her full remarks below.