Even with "Wonder Woman" pulling outstanding box office numbers, the representation of women in Hollywood still has a long way to go. And some big stars aren’t afraid to call it out. Very publicly.
While accepting an award at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards on June 13, Elizabeth Banks criticized Steven Spielberg for not making female-led films, according to The Wrap.
“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 said during her speech.
“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."
As one of the most celebrated directors — and powerful people — in Hollywood, criticizing Spielberg is akin to unleashing the wrath of a velociraptor family on yourself. And that's particularly the case when Banks wasn't entirely accurate in her remarks.
Twitter was quick to roast the actress, with many pointing out that of the 30 films Spielberg has directed, three have featured women as their main roles: his second film, 1974’s ‘The Sugarland Express’, 1985’s ‘The Color Purple,’ and 2016’s ‘The BFG,’ which some debate stars the male giant more than its little girl, Vulture reported.
Three out of 30 movies, however, is nothing to be proud of, and when you break the numbers down even more, Spielberg’s track record is even worse.
Polygraph analyzed the dialogue of over 8,000 screenplays to see the ratio of male-to-female lines. Hollywood as a whole is doing pretty terribly, but Spielberg notably has eight films that he’s either directed or produced in the top 100 films, where 90 per cent or more dialogue belongs to men. He has one film, “True Grit”, which he produced, that ranks in the top 100 for gender parity. None of his films are in the top 100 films where 60 per cent or more of the dialogue goes to women.
Even some of Spielberg’s most identifiable female characters, Dr. Ellie Sattler from “Jurassic Park” and Marion Ravenwood from “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” only serve as characters in men’s stories.
This isn’t even the first time Spielberg’s been called out either.
This isn’t even the first time Spielberg’s been called out either. Last year, The Guardian reported actress Juliette Binoche has also spoken to the filmmaker, and colleague Martin Scorsese, on separate occasions about their lack of female-led movies.
She said Spielberg defended himself, and said he’d made "The Color Purple." Binoche added that the conversation was part of why she turned down Laura Dern’s role in "Jurassic Park."
“Saying no to certain films is as important as saying yes, because it really defines you,” she said.
After her own comments, Banks went on to encourage the audience to take their children, boys and girls alike, to see more female-led stories like "Frozen."
“Buy a fucking ticket to a movie with a woman, take them, give them the experience of seeing amazing women on film,” Banks added.
At least Spielberg’s upcoming film, "The Papers" is set to star Meryl Streep in the lead role.
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