The 43-year-old actress and director was accepting Women in Film's Excellence in Film award on Tuesday (June 13) when she made the remark.
Elizabeth Banks has criticized Stephen Spielberg for the lack of female leads in his films. The critically acclaimed film stars Whoopi Goldberg, helped to earn her a Golden Globe for Best Actress, and is a Tony Award winning Broadway musical.
While Elizabeth Banks' shrill feminist advocacy drew applause, black Twitter called her out for ignoring the 1985 film The Color Purple, which Spielberg directed.
Films such as The Color Purple, The Sugerland Express and The BFG all had female leads.
As I said, there was nothing wrong with Banks' overall message.
"Part of the reason I'm here is because the movie made $287 million", she said. "I don't mean to call your a** out but it's true", said Banks.
Banks released her apology to the director Thursday afternoon by way of an attached note on Twitter. "I made things worse by giving the impression that I was dismissing Shari Belafonte when she attempted to correct me when I spoke.she was kind enough to forgive me". In trying to slap the epithet of "sexist" on famed director Steven Spielberg, she instead exposed her own ignorance of his oeuvre.
As many have since pointed out, although Banks' criticism wasn't completely accurate, it wasn't that far off the mark.Out of the 30 films Spielberg has directed, there have been just three with female protagonists. His upcoming film "The Papers", which stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep opposite each other, will be a very feminist turn for the filmmaker considering the film's subject matter.
Elizabeth Banks was immediately accused of dismissing The Color Purple because it was a "black movie" and didn't feature a white cast. Her point, however, was made; as far as the entertainment industry goes, we could stand to see more women in leading roles on television and in film, as well as behind the camera.