Spike Lee Drops His Defense of Woody Allen

'My words were wrong,' filmmaker tweets
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2020 7:33 AM CDT
Spike Lee Apologizes for Backing Woody Allen
Tonya Lewis Lee, left, and Spike Lee arrive at the Oscars in February in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Spike Lee's defense of Woody Allen lasted one day. In a radio interview Friday, Lee had offered Allen as an example of the unfairness of the "cancel culture," saying, "I know he’s going through it right now." On Saturday, the filmmaker posted a retraction, Deadline reports. "I Deeply Apologize. My Words Were WRONG. I Do Not And Will Not Tolerate Sexual Harassment, Assault Or Violence," Lee tweeted. "Such Treatment Causes Real Damage That Can’t Be Minimized." Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has accused him of sexually abusing her as a child, in 1992, and he's been criticized for marrying Soon-Yi Previn, who was the adopted daughter of his longtime partner Mia Farrow.

Two investigations in the '90s were conducted, per USA Today, and Allen, who has denied the accusation, was not charged. In the Friday interview, Lee had called Allen "a great, great filmmaker," saying, "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." Allen's publisher dropped his autobiography this year after another of its writers—Ronan Farrow, Allen's estranged son—threatened to leave it. Ronan Farrow wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Catch and Kill. (More Spike Lee stories.)

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