ET’s Gender Debated After Elizabeth Banks’ Steven Spielberg Criticism

“Banks is terrestrially gender shaming Steven Spielberg’s best leading lady of all time,” one tweet says

The internet is suddenly pondering the gender of classic movie alien E.T. after Elizabeth Banks knocked Steven Spielberg for a lack women leads in his movies.

At an awards show this week, Banks said the director had never made a film with a female protagonist. She was quickly reminded on the spot (and vehemently on Twitter) of Spielberg’s seminal film “The Color Purple” — and apologized for her omission on Thursday.

But the comments also inspired some levity on social media, as film fans debated if other famous Spielberg characters were male or female. Among those whose gender identities are in question are the dinosaurs from “Jurassic Park,” the shark from “Jaws” and, of course E.T.

“Did you just assume ET’s gender??” asked @HasghtagGriswold.

“So Elizabeth Banks is terrestrially gender shaming Steven Spielberg’s best leading lady of all time,” said @MikeHolt.

There has been debate over the years about the little alien’s biology and identity. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler suggested the creature was played by Daniel Day Lewis in the heartwarming 1982 film. Others have suggested that E.T. is gay, or at very least a gay icon.

For what it’s worth, this version of the “E.T.” script refers to E.T. as both “he” and, initially, as “the creature.” Which doesn’t seem very nice.

Here are some of the best tweets: