Elizabeth Banks Apologizes for Calling Out Steven Spielberg and Overlooking The Color Purple
Oops. At the Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards celebrating women in Hollywood on Tuesday night, actress and director Elizabeth Banks singled out legendary director Steven Spielberg, saying that the Hollywood icon has “never made a movie with a female lead.” Audience members immediately tried to correct her, and yesterday, the Hunger Games star took to Twitter to apologize for her mistake.
Banks made her initial remarks while accepting the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film on Tuesday night. “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,” she said. Someone in the crowd shouted out, “The Color Purple!” in the moment, but when Banks asked for clarification about whether he directed the film (he did), another audience member said he didn’t.
After taking a day to organize her thoughts, Banks addressed her mistake by issuing a public apology on Twitter.
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) June 15, 2017
Many fans are surprised that Banks didn’t seem to know that Spielberg directed the iconic film The Color Purple, which starred Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey and won 13 awards, including Goldberg’s Golden Globe for Best Actress. And while she takes full responsibility in her apology, some have noted that overlooking the groundbreaking film is a reminder about equality in Hollywood, and how far we still have to go.
It's all good. We just gotta protect our masterpieces. #TheColorPurple And you're right, Hollywood does need more female-led work.
— Erica Nicole Griffin (@EN_Griffin) June 15, 2017
ELIZABETH BANKS: Steven Spielberg never made a movie with a female lead
AUDIENCE MEMBER: He made "The Color Purple"
ELIZABETH BANKS: pic.twitter.com/gHTjKZS2C4
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) June 15, 2017
— Kanga (@K_Messias_) June 15, 2017
Banks’ gaffe shows that while we may have our hearts in the right place, it’s always important to do our homework.
Have you ever spread false information by accident? Tell us how you recovered @BritandCo!
(h/t The Hollywood Reporter; photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)