Spike Lee Apologizes After Defending Woody Allen in New Interview
Leave defending Woody to Scarlett Johansson.
Spike Lee is currently promoting his new film Da 5 Bloods, which premiered this weekend on Netflix. In an interview with New York City radio station WOR’s In the Morning show, the topic of cancel culture was brought up, specifically in regard to fellow New York director Woody Allen.
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 added, “Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, so I know he’s going through it right now.”
Ah yes, the classic Hollywood pitfall: defending Woody Allen! Lee’s comments join the ranks of other celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Stephen King, and Jeff Goldblum (to name a few) who have decided to jump to Allen’s defense.
Allen of course, has long been accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, but while the allegations have existed for nearly 3 decades, they have done little to hamper or cancel Allen’s career. The director continues to churn out films at a brisk pace, and A-list actors are still lining up to star in said films.
Lee quickly apologized for his remarks via Twitter, writing “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.”
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
Lee’s apology was appropriate and thoughtful, but reminds us that Woody Allen is in fact the poster boy for the cancel culture fallacy. His career has barely suffered under this scrutiny, and he continues to win awards and earn accolades for his work. Even his autobiography, which was canceled by the Hatchette Book Group after a company walkout, was eventually published by Arcade Publishing in March.
So in absence of any tangible consequences, why do people continue to cape for Woody Allen? Many on Twitter were wondering why Lee would defend Allen as well:
When Spike Lee just released a great movie, but then decides to defend Woody Allen pic.twitter.com/UhVU9uGIU1
— Carl Broughton II (@Carlislegendary) June 13, 2020
*tosses 2020 bingo card out the window*https://t.co/in5ed4ozD3
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) June 13, 2020
But you have have friend(s) that are sexual abusers and you defend them…. that is quite literally tolerating sexual-harassment so what is the truth??
— Guillermo Del Negro (@angryblakkkgirl) June 13, 2020
It’s a bummer, because Spike Lee is one of the most talented directors of his generation, and Da 5 Bloods has been getting excellent reviews. By supporting Woody Allen, Lee is shifting a conversation that should center on him and his work to his gross friend.
Lee also discussed the George Floyd protests, saying “What’s uplifting to me is that people are marching all over this God’s earth for Black Lives Matter, … 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.”
(via Entertainment Weekly, image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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