‘Could We Have an Ad During Baseball?’

Elizabeth Banks recently told Rolling Stone that the media was behind the “gendered agenda” of “Charlie’s Angels,” her 2019 action-comedy starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska that flopped at the box office. The director told The New York Times last year that she wished the film’s marketing “had not been presented as just for girls,” but now she told Rolling Stone that’s the only perspective the media was interested in perpetuating anyway.

“So much of the story that the media wanted to tell about ‘Charlie’s Angels’ was that it was some feminist manifesto,” Banks said. “People kept saying, ‘You’re the first female director of ‘Charlie’s Angels!” And I was like, ‘They’ve only done a TV show and McG’s movies … what are you talking about? There’s not this long legacy.’ I just loved the franchise. There was not this gendered agenda from me. That was very much laid on top of the work, and it was a little bit of a bummer. It felt like it pigeonholed me and the audience for the movie.”

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“To lose control of the narrative like that was a real bummer,” Banks added. “You realize how the media can frame something regardless of how you’ve framed it. I happen to be a woman who directed a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ movie that happened to star three incredible women. You can’t control the media saying, ‘You’re a lady director, and that’s special!’ — which it is, but it’s not the only thing.”

“Charlie’s Angels” only grossed $73 million worldwide, a flop for Sony Pictures in 2019. Banks told Variety earlier this year, “I took full responsibility for ‘Charlie’s Angels’ — certainly no one else did. It was all laid on me and I happily accepted, because what else am I supposed to do?”

In her Rolling Stone interview, Banks recalled having to ask for the film to be promoted to men and not just women.

“I remember having a conversation with someone who was like, ‘You guys are going to have a partnership with Drybar’ — which is, like, a hair-blowing thing,” Banks said. “And I was like, ‘Alright… but could we have an ad during the baseball playoffs? It’s not only this one thing.’ It was interesting to see how the industry sees things that star women. It was a real lesson for me.”

Banks currently stars in Apple’s “The Beanie Bubble,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

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