Steven Spielberg Responds to Natalie Portman's Best Directors Dig at Golden Globes

Steven Spielberg agrees with Natalie Portman, and predicts a female director will have her time at the Oscars this year.

The 71-year-old director and Hollywood legend told Entertainment Tonight that he applauds the new era of transparency in the entertainment industry. Reporters caught up with him at the National Board of Review Awards on Tuesday, where he called the current social climate “powerful, a watershed for women, a watershed for men, who will learn to listen or those who have been listening.”

Spielberg didn’t shy away from the fact that female directors specifically have a hard time getting recognition for their work. While presenting the award for Best Director at the Golden Globes on Sunday, Natalie Portman made specific note of the discrepancy in nominees.

“Here are the all-male nominees,” Portman said on stage with a mischievous smile. Spielberg admitted that female directors are getting progress slower than the rest.

“There’s also a watershed happening right now, slowly, maybe not fast enough, for women directors,” he said. “I mean you have Patty Jenkins. We have some amazing women that have come forward, you know Mudbound and Lady Bird. This is a pretty incredible year, and I think you'll be seeing some nominations. I’m predicting at the Oscars this year for a woman director, if not several.”

Jenkins, who directed this summer’s smash hit Wonder Woman, offered a comment on Portman’s jab as well.

“What could you say? It made me laugh, and it made me smile,” she said. “Look, it’s been a little glaring that women directors don’t get nominated so often and it is odd. Particularly when their films are being celebrated in every other way, so I thought it was interesting to highlight it. And what a difficult category to present without saying something about it, so she did it so perfectly.”

Spielberg also weighed in on the biggest rumor of the night -- Oprah Winfrey’s alleged presidential aspirations. “It sure sounded like 2020 to me,” he said.