Elizabeth Banks Faces Backlash for Saying 'Wonder Woman' and 'Captain Marvel' Belong to 'Male Genre'

Elizabeth Banks, who is pulling quadruple duty on Charlie's Angels, got fans talking when she said female-led superhero movies are part of a 'male genre'

Elizabeth Banks has stirred up some controversy over recent comments about moviegoer preferences.

The actress, who also serves as writer, director and producer on the just-released Charlie’s Angels reboot, gave some quotes to the Herald Sun recently that have sparked backlash on social media.

Speaking of her movie before it opened, Banks said that Charlie’s Angels had to perform well at the box office, otherwise it would further harm future female-led films. Since the interview’s publication, the movie went on to make a disappointing $8.6 million on opening weekend in North America.

“Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money,” Banks, 45, said. “If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.”

But while some would point to the success of recent female-led action movies like Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Banks said those don’t necessarily count since they’re part of bigger cinematic universes that are led by male actors.

“They’ll go and see a comic book movie with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel because that’s a male genre,” Banks said. “So even though those are movies about women, they put them in the context of feeding the larger comic book world, so it’s all about, yes, you’re watching a Wonder Woman movie but we’re setting up three other characters or we’re setting up Justice League.”

“By the way, I’m happy for those characters to have box office success,” Banks added, “but we need more women’s voices supported with money because that’s the power. The power is in the money.”

Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks star in Charlie's Angels.
Charlie’s Angels.

Banks comments were not received well by some on social media, with people on Twitter saying that her movie just didn’t look good.

“Elizabeth Banks does know that women didn’t want to see her Charlie’s Angels movie either, right? I get it, Hollywood and the world really, is frustrating and sexist as heck but she should just face facts. As tough as it is, her movie just didn’t look appealing to people,” a Twitter user wrote.

“Elizabeth Banks is so talented but she is saying such idiotic things. Charlie’s Angels will flop not because men don’t want to see it but because the marketing is so f—- atrocious NOBODY wants to see it,” another echoed.

WATCH: Director Elizabeth Banks Promises ‘Action, Glamour and Fun’ in New Charlie’s Angels

Still, others jumped to Banks’ defense and backed up her comments, agreeing that the superhero genre gave Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman a leg up that Charlie’s Angels didn’t have.

“[Clowns] twisting Liz Banks words by mentioning WonderWoman&CaptainMarvel as successful female lead action films are dumb, both of these films from either DC or Marvel which are destined to make BILLIONS bc of the same fanboys who claimed Charlie’sAngels is bad without even seeing it,” one user wrote.

“Elizabeth banks didn’t lie when she classified these films as ‘male genre’ because none of these had a fully female driven cast, whereas Charlie’s Angels had that and was more about female friendships and women at work without necessarily having any superpowers,” the user added in a follow-up tweet.

The actress later addressed Charlie’s Angels‘ lack of performance at the box office with a self-deprecating joke on Twitter.

“Well, if you’re going to have a flop, make sure your name is on it at least 4x. I’m proud of #CharliesAngels and happy it’s in the world,” she tweeted, referencing her roles as actress, writer, producer and director.

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