Elizabeth Banks has apologised for making comments about director Steven Spielberg, having wrongly criticised the film-maker for having never made a film with a female lead.

The 43 year old star of The Hunger Games, among others, made the comments at a Women In Film awards ceremony on Wednesday (June 14th). She was awarded an excellence in film prize at the ceremony, and used her acceptance speech to highlight the hot topic of gender equality in Hollywood.

Elizabeth BanksElizabeth Banks

“We can't do it by ourselves… It's our responsibility to bring the men along,” she 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.”

However, actress Shari Belafonte called out from the audience to remind her of the Oscar-nominated 1985 movie The Color Purple, which starred Whoopi Goldberg in the lead.

Banks initially corrected herself, but when another audience member shouted out that Belafonte was wrong, she concluded “Oh, so I’m right still.”

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Spielberg, who directed Banks in the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can, is currently working with Meryl Streep on his next film The Papers, about the first American female news publisher, and his most recent project, The BFG, starred 12 year old Ruby Barnhill as the lead.

However, while people backed up Banks by pointing out that only three of his 30 films starred female leads, Banks felt compelled to apologise for “framing [her] comments about [Spielberg's] films inaccurately” the following day.

Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg

“I want to be clear from the start that I take full responsibility for what I said and I'm sorry,” she wrote via Twitter.

“When I made the comments, I was thinking of recent films Steven directed, it was not my intention to dismiss the importance of the iconic #TheColorPurple. I made things worse by giving the impression that I was dismissing Shari 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 honour of directing and producing films should be held to account for our mistakes, whether it's about diversity or inaccurate statements. I'm very sorry.”

Banks herself is set to direct a re-booted film version of Charlie’s Angels in the near future.

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