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UPDATED 6/14, 1:00 p.m. ET: Spike Lee has issued an apology after defending Woody Allen and criticizing cancel culture. Lee took to 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."
See the original story below.
Spike Lee discussed the controversy of Woody Allen, who's been accused of child molestation, and criticized "cancel culture" while speaking to Michael Riedel and Len Berman on 710 WOR’s "In The Morning."
"I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker and this cancel thing is not just Woody and when we look back on it we are going to see that — short of killing someone — you can’t just erase someone like they never existed. Woody is a friend of mine... and I know he’s going through it right now," Lee said, per Page Six.
In 2017, Dylan Farrow, who is the adoptive daughter of Allen, wrote an op-ed that was published by the Los Angeles Times detailing the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of Allen when she was a child. "I have long maintained that when I was 7 years old, Woody Allen led me into an attic, away from the babysitters who had been instructed never to leave me alone with him," Farrow wrote. "He then sexually assaulted me. I told the truth to the authorities then, and I have been telling it, unaltered, for more than 20 years."
Lee hasn't been the only celebrity to support Allen in light of the allegations. Back in November of 2019, Jeff Goldblum defended Allen, saying there is "a presumption of innocence until proven guilty." A few months before that, Scarlett Johansson also defended Allen and said she would work with him in the future. "I love Woody," Johansson said at the time. "I believe him, and I would work with him anytime." Both Goldblum and Johansson encountered backlash online after making their comments in support of the director.
Because if we’ve learned anything from the past two years it’s that you definitely should believe male predators who “maintain their innocence” without question. Scarlett has a long way to go in understanding the issue she claims to champion. https://t.co/S1NmttL9tJ— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) September 5, 2019
Spike Lee was on the radio show to promote his new film Da 5 Bloods, which is now streaming on Netflix. The movie stars Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Chadwick Boseman, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, and others.
Lee also spoke on the recent Black Lives Matter protests against system racism and police brutality while on "In The Morning."
"What is 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... people come together, people want police reform, people want justice and I think we are in a special moment in the USA," the director said.