Critically acclaimed director Spike Lee has released a statement apologising for defending fellow filmmaker Woody Allen.
Allen, whose career has been tarnished amid the #MeToo era, has been embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with Amazon Studios after the film company scrapped their pre-agreed film deal. With the longstanding allegations of sexual assault made against him by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow resurfacing, the likes of Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Greta Gerwig and more have expressed their regret having worked with Allen in the past.
Dylan claims that Allen sexually abused her when she was just seven-years-old and, to solidify her claims, wrote a detailed essay for the L.A. Times reiterating an accusation that Allen allegedly molested her. Allen has repeatedly denied the claims.
Further issues around Allen’s conduct have originated from his controversial marriage to Soon-Yi Previn. Soon-Yi is the adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow and musician André Previn. In 1979, after ending her marriage with Soon-Yi’s adopted father Previn, Mia Farrow began a relationship with Allen. However, their relationship would be over in 1992 when Allen began having an intimate relationship with Soon-Yi, her adopted daughter who was 22 years old at the time. Allen later admitted that he had held a ‘paternal’ role of Soon-Yi for a decade.
While many prominent names have denounced Allen, many have stood by him. Now, as part of a new interview with New York’s WOR 710 radio, Spike Lee was drawn into a conversation on the topic: “I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker, and this cancel thing is not just Woody,” Lee said. “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.”
Lee added: “Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, and I know he’s going through it right now.”
However, after facing a backlash for his comments, Lee took to social media to take back his words and offer an apology: “I Deeply Apologize,” Lee tweeted.
“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.”