Elizabeth Banks Apologizes to Steven Spielberg After Claiming He Never Made a Film With a Female Lead
By Liz Calvario
Elizabeth Banks is acknowledging her mistake.
The 43-year-old actress issued an apology to Steven Spielberg on Thursday after she incorrectly stated that the director has "never made a movie with a female lead" during the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards on Tuesday.
When Banks was accepting her Crystal Award, she expressed her frustration with the lack of female stories on the big screen, specifically calling out the Oscar-winning director.
"I went to Indiana Jones and Jaws and every movie Steven Spielberg ever made, and by the way, he's never made a movie with a female lead," Banks said onstage. "Sorry, Steven. I don't mean to call your a** out, but it's true."
However, her comments received backlash after many pointed out that Spielberg directed the 1985 film The Color Purple, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.
"I messed up," Banks wrote in her apology, which she shared on social media. "When referring to Steven Spielberg at the Women in Film Awards, I framed my comments about his films inaccurately. I want to be clear from the start that I take full responsibility for what I said and I'm sorry."
"When I made the comments, I was thinking of recent films Steven directed," Banks' apology continued. "It was not my intention to dismiss the import of the iconic #TheColorPurple. I made things worse by giving the impression that I was dismissing Shari Belafonte when she attempted to correct me. I spoke with Shari backstage and she was kind enough to forgive me. Those who have the privilege and honor of directing and producing films should be held to account for our mistakes, whether it's about diversity or inaccurate statements. I'm very sorry."
The Color Purple is predominately the only Spielberg film to feature a female lead. The drama received critical success and received a total of 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress in a Lead and Supporting Role. The picture also earned Goldberg a Golden Globe in the Best Actress category.