Elizabeth Banks 'calls out' Steven Spielberg for lack of female lead roles

'I don't mean to call out your ass, but it's true'

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The Independent Culture

UPDATE: Banks has since elaborated on her words stating she framed her words "inaccurately" following a public backlash - read her full statement here.

Elizabeth Banks has named and shamed a huge Hollywood director she believes doesn't make enough films focusing on women: Steven Spielberg.

Speaking about the director at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards last night (14 June), Banks said: “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.”

While the sentiment of Banks' comment came from the right place, The AV Club points out that she is not strictly correct: The Sugarland Express (1974) bore a top-billing for Goldie Hawn while Whoopi Goldberg is the lead of 1985's The Color Purple. Additionally, aside from Mark Rylance's turn as The BFG, young star Ruby Barnhill is arguably the lead of the maestro's 2016 Roald Dahl adaptation.

There's no denying that three films in a career spanning four decades is alarmingly low.

Banks, who was receiving an honour for excellence in feature directing following her work on Pitch Perfect 2, instructed her audience: “Buy a fucking ticket to a movie with a woman, take them, give them the experience of seeing amazing women on film.”

Last year, Juliette Binoche revealed she turned down a part in Jurassic Park due to Spielberg's inability to direct many films with female leads, something she also accused Martin Scorsese of. 

Spielberg's next film, The Papers, will be led by Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep alongside a supporting cast including a crop of the best actors working on TV right now.