American director Spike Lee recently defended Woody Allen from “cancel culture,” calling the accused sex abuser a “friend of mine.” Now he’s about-turned, accusing Allen of doing “real damage.”
In an interview with New York’s WOR radio on Friday, Lee took some time off from promoting his new movie ‘Da 5 Bloods’ to stick up for Allen, a man chased out of the public eye long before ‘cancel culture’ became a term.
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“Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker and this cancel thing is not just Woody,” Lee said. “Woody’s a friend of mine, a fellow Knicks fan, and I know he’s going through it right now.”
However, a backlash ensued online, and just one day later, Lee changed his tune. “I Deeply Apologize,” he tweeted on Saturday. “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.”
Allen is somewhat of a Hollywood pariah. Lauded for his award-winning works, including ‘Annie Hall’, ‘Mighty Aphrodite’ and ‘Radio Days’, Allen has also been accused of sexually abusing his daughter – Dylan Farrow – when she was a child. Farrow spoke out against her father in the early 1990s, and the accusations were once again thrown into the spotlight in recent years, with the emergence of the #MeToo movement.
Ronan Farrow, one of the instigators of #MeToo and Allen’s son, has sided with his sister in condemning Allen’s “strange behavior around her.”
No actual abuse was ever proven, but Allen’s name has forever been tarnished. Marrying and fathering children with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn didn’t help his case.
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As such, many of the cast of Allen’s most recent movie, ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ spoke out against the director and donated their salaries to charity in 2018, even though the stories of abuse surrounding Allen were already public knowledge when they took their roles. Allen’s memoir was then dropped this year by Hachette Books, after a staff walkout at the publishing house.
Allen’s forthcoming movie, ‘Rifkin’s Festival’ is due for release in Spain this September. American stars Gina Gershon and Wallace Shawn have already defended working on the movie, with Gershon telling reporters last year the script was a “dream come true” for her. However, if as ardent an Allen fan as Spike Lee can double back in a day, ‘Rifkin’s Festival’ and its stars could face the wrath of the ‘cancel culture’ crew between now and September.
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