While accepting an award from the nonprofit group Women in Film, actress Elizabeth Banks took some time out to talk about the issues that women face in Hollywood. Her message, however, was overridden with peak white-womanness when she took a shot at director and producer Steven Spielberg, who she claimed had never made a movie with a female lead.
“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,” Banks told a crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday at the Crystal & Lucy Awards, according to The Wrap.
Now, Banks isn’t wrong about the general lack of strong female leads in Spielberg’s films. Anyone can clearly recognize that. However, someone in the crowd reportedly called Banks out, reminding her about the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, which was directed and produced by Spielberg, and Banks basically just moved on, with no acknowledgment of the statement.
(For the record, Spielberg also had a hand in The Sugarland Express and The BFG, both of which also feature female leads.)
Anyway, the folks on social media were not too pleased about how Banks brushed past the iconic film.
As I said, there was nothing wrong with Banks’ overall message. Diversity in Hollywood is a very important issue. But perhaps maybe next time when someone brings up an iconic film based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about issues that black women face, starring two powerful black women, you don’t skip over it like it’s nothing? Black women in Hollywood matter, too.