Elizabeth Banks apologized for those Steven Spielberg comments

Apologies aren’t always easy, but they can be very important; just ask Elizabeth Banks. Days after making some controversial statements about director Steven Spielberg, Banks has offered up a lengthy apology on her Instagram. The actress spoke out against Spielberg (who she worked with on 2002’s Catch Me If You Can) at the Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards, claiming that he had never directed a film 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,” Elizabeth Banks stated in a report by The Wrap. And while Spielberg movies by and large have men in the lead roles, her statement overlooked 1985’s iconic The Color Purple, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.


People didn’t take kindly to this omission (especially since members of the audience — notably actress Shari Belafonte — tried to point it out to Elizabeth Banks, to no avail) and the backlash was swift and intense. Elizabeth Banks has since taken to her official Instagram, where she issued a long apology for her words.

“I messed up. When referring to Steven Spielberg at the Women in Film awards, I framed my comments about his films inaccurately. 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 Sharie Belafonte when she attempted to correct me. I spoke with Shari backstage and she was kind enough to forgive me. Those who have the privilege and honor of directing and producing films should be held accountable for our mistakes, whether it’s about diversity or inaccurate statements. I’m very sorry,” she wrote on Instagram.

We understand the point Elizabeth Banks was getting at regarding how few female-led movies the famous director has made (the final tally comes to two out of 30, counting The BFG which was released last year), but overlooking The Color Purple is a pretty major oversight. Still, kudos to Elizabeth Banks for owning up to her mistakes and taking full responsibility for her actions.