Elizabeth Banks has apologised to Steven Spielberg after she publicly accused him of not casting female leads.
The ‘Hunger Games’ star made the remarks during an acceptance speech at Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards.
“I framed my comments inaccurately. I want to be clear from the start that I take full responsibility for what I said and I’m sorry,” she later posted online.
“When I made the comments, I was thinking of recent films Steven directed, it was not my intention to dismiss the import (sic) of the iconic #TheColorPurple.”
On picking up the Excellence in Film award, she said: “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. Sorry, Steven. I don’t mean to call your ass out, but it’s true.”
Drawing some rumbles from the crowd, actress Shari Belafonte shouted out about Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic novel.
“Umm… he directed?” asked Banks, with another guest shouting out that he didn’t (though he did), leading Banks to add: “Oh, so I’m right still.”
Following her apology, she added: “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.”
So far, Steven Spielberg has not commented on the matter.
But it’s true that the vast majority of his movies – ‘The Colour Purple’, the recent ‘BFG’ and 1974’s ‘Sugarland Express’ with Goldie Hawn – have been led by male actors.
In her speech, Banks went on to say: “Buy a f**king ticket to a movie with a woman, take them, give them the experience of seeing amazing women on film.
“I’m really glad to be up here and getting an award. But it’s really about expanding the roles of women in this industry.”