Update: Spike Lee has apologized for comments he made in defense of “friend” Woody Allen. The filmmaker posted a statement on Twitter Saturday, calling his words “wrong.”
“I Deeply Apologize. My Words Were WRONG,” the director tweeted. “I Do Not And Will Not Tolerate Sexual Harassment, Assault Or Violence. Such Treatment Causes Real Damage That Can’t Be Minimized.”
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.— Spike Lee (@SpikeLeeJoint) June 13, 2020
In an interview for New York's WOR 710 radio on Friday, the Da 5 Bloods director voiced his support for Allen, noting he still calls the embattled filmmaker a friend. Asked to weigh in on the controversy around Allen, Lee said, "I'd just like to say Woody Allen's a great, great filmmaker, and this cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think that when we look back on it, [we're] gonna see that, short of killing somebody, I don't if you can just erase somebody like they never existed. Woody's a friend of mine... I know he's going through it right now."
Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has repeatedly accused the director of molesting her when she was a child, which Allen has consistently denied. The allegations first came to light in the early 1990s but have gained renewed attention in recent years in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Earlier this year, Hachette Books canceled plans to publish Allen's memoir Apropos of Nothing after substantial backlash, including an employee walkout. Allen subsequently released the book through a different publisher.
On the radio interview, Lee also spoke about the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing by a white police officer. "What's uplifting to me is that people are marching all over this God's earth for Black Lives Matter," Lee said. "There's definitely something in the air... I think we're in a very special moment in the history of the United States of America."
Lee's new film Da 5 Bloods is currently streaming on Netflix.