Rodriguez took to Instagram to share her displeasure over the franchise's portrayal of women and threatened to leave the series if they don't "show some love to the women of the franchise on the next [film]." The series has always largely focused on its male characters for lead plots, which has left female characters as supplementary.
Business Insider spoke with the director of "The Fate of the Furious," F. Gary Gray, and he responded to Rodriguez's criticism.
"I can't speak for Michelle, she has a very specific point of view and I can't take anything away from that, but I would like to think that with 'The Fate of the Furious' specifically, I can't speak to the other films, I thought the combination of female characters was pretty strong."
The film was Gray's first go at directing a "Fast and Furious" film, which performed extraordinarily well at the box office. "The Fate of the Furious" surpassed "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in its opening weekend and tallied $532.5 million during that time.
Gray is reportedly being considered to direct the next installment of the film and says anything is possible with reference to stronger female leads.
"The door's open. Who knows what the future brings," he said.
Fast cars and tough women. That works for us.