Spike Lee Apologizes for Defending Woody Allen Against Cancel Culture

Lee drew criticism on Saturday for remarks about Allen, in which he said, "I don’t know that you can just erase somebody like they never existed."
Spike Lee'Shaft' film premiere, Arrivals, AMC Lincoln Square, New York, USA - 10 Jun 2019
Spike Lee
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Director Spike Lee has issued an apology via Twitter for controversial marks he made Saturday in defense of Woody Allen against cancel culture on a morning radio show. During an interview on New York City radio station WOR’s “In the Morning,” Lee said, “I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker, and this cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think when we look back on it we are going to see that — short of killing somebody — I don’t know that you can just erase somebody like they never existed.”

Lee also added, “Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, so I know he’s going through it right now.” In his Twitter apology following the interview, Lee said, “I deeply apologize. My words were wrong. I do not and will not tolerate sexual harassment, assault or violence. Such treatment causes real damage that can’t be minimized.” See the post in full below.

Allen fell back into the spotlight, and further out of grace, earlier this year with the publication of his memoir “Apropos of Nothing,” in which he doubled down on long-held claims that he never molested his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, who was seven years old at the time of the alleged incident. Allen has long denied the accusations and hasn’t been charged with any crimes after multiple police investigations in the 1990s. The filmmaker faced an uphill climb in getting his memoir on shelves after publisher Hachette decided against publishing the book in early March. Arcade Publishing ended up releasing the book on March 23.

Spike Lee’s new movie, the Vietnam War epic “Da 5 Bloods,” just released Friday, June 12, on Netflix and has already earned the Oscar winner some of the best reviews of his career. IndieWire spoke with Lee about the film, and its timeliness in the current political moment, in a wide-ranging interview published Saturday. “It seems like the United States of America is teetering on the brink,” Lee said. “But the thing that gives me hope is to see all across America, my white brothers and sisters who are out in the streets, joining their black and brown brothers and sisters. And in many cases, these demonstrations are in places where there are no black and brown people. Look at Salt Lake City, Utah. Des Moines, Iowa, and all those that around. That is giving me hope.”

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