Elizabeth Banks Calls Out Steven Spielberg for Sexist Casting

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks accepted the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at the Women in Film 2017 Crystal + Lucy Awards on Jan. 13. Credit Getty Images

"The Color Purple" anyone?

"Part of the reason I'm here is because the movie made $287 million", she said.

It didn't win the highest award that year-Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa did-but the film's lead actress, Whoopi Goldberg, did go on to receive a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama thanks to her stellar portrayal of the movie's protagonist, Celie.

Of the 30 feature films Spielberg has directed, 2.5 have featured women in a starring role.

As noted above, she explained that she "messed up" and made things worse when she attempted to dismiss Shari Belafonte for trying to correct her. When I made the comments, I was thinking of recent films Steven directed, it was not my intention to dismiss the import of the iconic #TheColorPurple. "Sorry, Steven. I don't mean to call your ass out but it's true", Banks said to a room full of attendees at the Beverly Hills Hilton.

In the midst of her female empowering acceptance speech, the actor, director, and producer said: "I went to Indiana Jones and Jaws and every movie Steven Spielberg ever made".

Films such as The Color Purple, The Sugerland Express and The BFG all had female leads.

People have been quick to point out that while there are only a few, Spielberg has indeed made films with women leads, one of the most significant being The Color Purple.

"Black Twitter", a name for the community of African-Americans on the social media platform, was especially scornful of her comments, as The Color Purple is widely prized and honored. Juliette Binoche past year said she confronted Spielberg as well as Martin Scorsese for not casting more women. Juliette Binoche reportedly turned down a role in Jurassic Park, citing the overt maleness of the director's movies as the reason. Thompson has since deleted her tweet and apologized, but Twitter is not holding back. It was nominated for 11 Oscars. "I am so proud that I get to raise my two boys to love women".

Vulture's Jordan Crucchiola pointed out that Spielberg's upcoming movie "The Papers" will have Meryl Streep as the movie's lead, playing Washington Post publisher Kay Graham.

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