Actress and director Elizabeth Banks took to Twitter yesterday to apologize to director Steven Spielberg after she mistakenly called him out for "never" having directed a movie with a female lead. Because it's not true.
While accepting an award on Wednesday at the Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy awards, Banks took shots at Hollywood for underrepresentation of women (fair) and then called out Steven Spielberg (less fair).
"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," the actress said during her speech. "Sorry, Steven. I don’t mean to call your ass out, but it’s true."
But the problem is, it's not true, as many people on Twitter were quick to point out. Steven Spielberg has directed 31 films, three of which starred women: The Sugarland Express (1974), starring Goldie Hawn; The BFG (2006), starring Ruby Barnhill and The Color Purple (1985), starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Three films out of 31 doesn't necessarily make Steven Spielberg a hero to women. But he deserves credit for that 10%. And Banks has since owned up to her gaff:
I messed up. When referring to Steven Spielberg at the Women in Film awards, I framed my comments about his films inaccurately. I want to to be clear from the start that I take full responsibility for what I said and I’m sorry.
Banks also apologized to actress Shari Belafonte, who was in the audience at the awards and attempted to correct Banks by pointing out The Color Purple, which Banks at first acknowledged. But then when another audience member yelled out "no!" Banks responded "oh, so I’m right still."
Banks' apology continues:
When I made the comments, I was thinking of recent films Steven directed, it was not my intention to dismiss the import of the #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.
We're glad the actress is speaking out against sexism in Hollywood. But c'mon, do two minutes of googling before your next call out.