Elizabeth Banks Apologized For Calling Steven Spielberg Out

Elizabeth Banks

"I messed up." With those three words, Elizabeth Banks immediately owned up to the recent comments she made about Steven Spielberg's filmography while accepting a recognition at the Women in Film Crystal Award. In the heat of the moment, Banks -- herself a director -- singled out Spielberg for failing to make movies with women in the leads. Only, in doing so, Banks totally overlooked The Color Purple, prompting this apology from the Pitch Perfect 2 helmer. Said Banks:

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, 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'm very sorry.

In Elizabeth Banks' defense, Steven Spielberg has made a lot of films over the years. And it's easy to forget one of his accomplishments, even if it is a masterful film like The Color Purple. Banks was likely freewheeling in the moment as she gave a speech at an awards ceremony. I'm not sure, out of context, why she felt the need to pull Spielberg into this discussion. Nothing that I've read suggests that he was in the audience, or a topic of the ceremony. It's an odd pull.

In addition to The Color Purple, which Steven Spielberg adapted in 1985 with an all-star cats that included Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery and Rae Dawn Chong, the director is recently coming off of The BFG, a children's classic that introduced audiences around the globe to Ruby Barnhill, a precocious young performer who held her own opposite Mark Rylance's mo-capped giant.

Steven Spielberg gets credit for that, right?

Elizabeth Banks seems to immediately recognize the error of her ways, Tweeting out this apology and going one step further to acknowledge that she spoke to Shari Belafonte backstage at the Women in Film Crystal Award ceremony, and received forgiveness for the misunderstanding. At the most, this seems like a slightly misinformed, spa-judgment statement made about the biggest and most influential filmmaker of the modern tentpole error. Does Banks wish she could take it all back? Yeah, she likely does. But with this apology, we should be able to move on from this event. Unless Spielberg wants to tweet about it. That's probably unnecessary (and actually unwise).

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.