Over the weekend, Spike Lee took a slight, problematic detour amidst his press run for Da 5 Bloods. During an interview with New York’s WOR 710 radio (via The Playlist), the legendary filmmaker came to the defense of Woody Allen.
“I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker, and this cancel thing is not just Woody,” Lee explained. “And I think that when we look back on it, we are going to see that — short of killing somebody — I don’t know if you can just erase somebody like they never existed.” He continued, “Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, and I know he’s going through it right now.”
As expected, those thoughts warranted some major backlash online, and Lee has since released a statement on Twitter clarifying his position: “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.-Truly, Spike Lee.”
Allegations of sexual abuse have surrounded Allen for decades. His adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has long accused the filmmaker of molesting her as a child, an allegation of which Allen has repeatedly denied. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Farrow’s allegations have gained traction, however, prompting Amazon to shelve his latest feature A Rainy Day in New York and Hachette Book Group to similarly drop Allen’s memoir.