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Cydney Henderson USA TODAY

Published 2:53 AM EST Feb 10, 2020

Natalie Portman is calling attention to female directors on Hollywood's biggest night after women were completely shut out of the Oscars nominations. 

The actress, who won an Oscar for best actress in 2011 for "Black Swan," wore a black-and-gold Dior gown to the 92nd annual Academy Awards Sunday that featured a cape embroidered with the names of female directors.

The list of names included Greta Gerwig ("Little Women"), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”), Lulu Wang ("The Farewell") and Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”).

“I wanted to recognize women who were not recognized in a subtle way," Portman told USA TODAY's Andrea Mandell on the red carpet ahead of the show, where she's set to present. 

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The winners list

For the second year in a row, all five directing Oscar nominees are male, and this year feature just one person of color, Bong Joon-ho ("Parasite"); the others are: Sam Mendes ("1917"), Quentin Tarantino ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"), Todd Phillips ("Joker") and Martin Scorsese ("The Irishman").

In the Academy's 92-year history, only five women have ever been nominated for best director. Only one has won: Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for "The Hurt Locker."

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This is not the first time Portman has championed equal representation.

At the 2018 Golden Globes, Portman made a pointed comment about the lack of diversity among the director nominees.

"We are honored … to be here to present the award for best director," Ron Howard said, to which Portman deadpanned, "And here are the all-male nominees."

Contributing: Andrea Mandell

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