David O Russell has apologised after describing actress Jennifer Lawrence’s filming schedule on The Hunger Games series as “slavery”.
The American Hustle director, 55, told the New York Daily News: “I personally think they should give her a bit of breathing room over there because they’re printing money.
“I’ll tell you what it is about that girl – talk about 12 years of slavery, that’s what the franchise is. I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying it, but being in The Hunger Games, they just keep her on a hamster wheel.
“Then she comes and takes her vacation – because she wants to do original roles – spends her vacation on American Hustle.”
After his comments sparked controversy on Friday, Russell released a statement admitting that he “feels terrible” and “ realises it was wrong”.
“Clearly, I used a stupid analogy in a poor attempt at humour. I realised it the minute I said it and I am truly sorry,” he said.
Russell's latest film picked up three awards at the Golden Globes last weekend, including a win for Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Supporting Actress category.
He has previously directed her in Silver Linings Playbook, for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress (and memorably tripped up the stairs) last year.
Lawrence's American Hustle co-star Amy Adams accepted the Golden Globe for Best Actress, while Russell's take on the 1970s Abscam scandal won Best Picture at the ceremony on Sunday.
Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were both nominated for awards but lost out to Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyer's Club respecitvely.
Russell himself was up for Best Director but Alfonso Cuaron won for epic space adventure Gravity. Spike Jonze, writer of Her, beat Russell and Eric Warren Singer to the award for Best Screenplay.