Spike Lee is taking back the statements he made defending Woody Allen.
In an interview with New York City radio station WOR’s In the Morning program on Friday (June 12), the Da 5 Bloods director got candid about Allen and “cancel culture.” “I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker and this cancel thing is not just Woody,” Lee said on the show. “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 went on to describe Allen as a “friend.” “Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, so I know he’s going through it right now,” Lee said.
The comments sparked backlash given Allen has faced long-held claims that he molested his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, who has said that she was seven years old at the time of the alleged incident. Allen has consistently denied the accusations.
Following criticism for his defense of Allen, Lee later took to Twitter to apologize and took back his statements: “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,” he wrote.
Lee’s support for the director arrives after Allen faced major backlash for releasing a new memoir, Apropos of Nothing. The filmmaker’s memoir was originally slated to be published by Hachette Book Group, but the company made the decision to pull his memoir a day after employees staged a walkout in protest over the book. Farrow’s brother Ronan, whose reporting on Harvey Weinstein’s years of predation was documented in his book Catch and Kill, also announced at the time that he would cut ties with the publisher should they release Allen’s book. The book was later released by Arcade Publishing in March.
In Allen’s memoir, he continues to deny the allegations and alleges that Farrow’s mother, Mia, planted the molestation story in her child’s brain.
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
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.