Elizabeth Banks Speaks Out At AT&T Shape Along With ‘OITNB’ Actress Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox (L) and Elizabeth Banks (R) hold a conversation during an event.
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Elizabeth Banks of Pitch Perfect recently promoted her appearance at Sunday’s 2019 AT&T SHAPE event along with Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox for A Conversation Between Elizabeth Banks and Laverne Cox. Banks spoke to Cox about creating content for film and television, her support of digital content studio WhoHaha, and what its like producing award-winning documentaries.

“WhoHaHa is a digital platform that is aimed at incubating female comedic talent and it was partially born out of the digital age and social media in general,” Banks said of the website, per The Hollywood Reporter.

She called it “a great incubator of talent” and it’s effective at reaching out to creative women that are on a similar wavelength and spreading an important message: “there are no barriers anymore.”

The focus of 2019 AT&T SHAPE is on the coming influence of fifth generation cellular technology on the entertainment industry and its consumers. Per Los Angeles Daily News, a wide range of speakers were featured at the event, including actors like Tyra Banks, Geena Davis, and Niecy Nash. Outside of actors, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, WB Games executives Mary Casey and Jonathan Knight, and DC Films’ vice-president Chantal Nong were notable guests.

During a recent interview with The New York Times, Banks described the changes that she has noticed in the movie industry over the last 10 years.

“There’s a lot more work, but it’s a lot harder to make money on anything,” she said, adding that this is the reason unions are “up in arms.”

“For low-end workers, the people on the tail of those big productions, it’s a lot harder to get by. And that’s true for middle-class actors and writers, too.”

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Although Banks arrived in Hollywood at the end of the era of big movie stars and fat paychecks, she says it’s much harder to get those kinds of deals nowadays. She also added that the internet has changed the entertainment landscape, as many people put their content on YouTube for free to get noticed — which renders the value of their work zero.

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Banks also spoke about how putting together a project in the modern age requires an awareness of the platform it’s best suited for, such as a theater, a streaming service, or the internet. She added that as time moves forward, she believes that movies are going to gradually become events more catered to big movie studios, although she doesn’t necessarily think this is a bad thing for indie movies.