Steven Spielberg's most iconic protagonists include a fearless archaeologist, a lovable alien and a killer shark. Few of his most famous characters, however, are women.
Actress Elizabeth Banks, in an acceptance speech at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards on Wednesday night, put the Hollywood titan on a blast, noting the lack of female leads in his most recognizable films.
"I went to Indiana Jones and Jaws and every movie Steven Spielberg ever made," Banks said. "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."
What she says is not entirely true. Three of Spielberg's smaller films—Sugarland Express (1974), The Color Purple (1985) and The BFG (2016)—feature female leads. Still, the lion's share of his blockbusters are male-driven vehicles.
Banks offered a simple solution: Audiences must demand movies with more prominent female characters. "Buy a fucking ticket to a movie with a woman, take them, give them the experience of seeing amazing women on film."
A good place to start is with two of Bank's most recognizable franchises: the female-led musical comedy Pitch Perfect, which she co-produces, and The Hunger Games, in which she stars as Effie Trinket alongside Jennifer Lawrence.
And stay tuned for the upcoming Charlie's Angels reboot, which Banks will direct.