Spike Lee apologises for defending Woody Allen

Spike Lee has apologised after defending fellow filmmaker Woody Allen.The Do the Right Thing director was heavily criticised for the comments he made in a recent interview with New York radio station WOR, in which he said Allen was his close friend. “I…

Spike Lee has apologised after defending fellow filmmaker Woody Allen.

The Do the Right Thing director was heavily criticised for the comments he made in a recent interview with New York radio station WOR, in which he said Allen was his close friend.

“I’d just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker,” Lee began. “This cancel thing is not just Woody, and I think that when we look back on it, we’re going to see that – short of killing somebody – I don’t know you can just erase somebody like they never existed. He’s a friend of mine, a fellow Knicks fan, and I know he’s going through it right now.”

In a post on Twitter on Saturday, Lee apologised for his comments in the interview, and insisted he was not dismissing victims of sexual abuse or violence.

“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 posted.

As the #MeToo movement gained traction in late 2017, Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow went public once again with allegations that he sexually abused her when she was a child in the ’90s. Allen has always denied the accusation.

His movie, A Rainy Day in New York, which was filmed in 2017, was dropped by its original distributor Amazon Studios and shelved for some time before eventually being released in territories outside of the U.S. from last year.

His memoir, Apropos of Nothing, was dropped by its original publisher following social media outrage over its publication and it was subsequently released by a different publisher earlier this year.

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Spike Lee releases short film in response to George Floyd’s death

Spike Lee has responded to the death of George Floyd by making a powerful short film comparing instances of police brutality with a scene from his movie Do the Right Thing.Unarmed African-American man Floyd passed away on 25 May after being apprehended…

Spike Lee has responded to the death of George Floyd by making a powerful short film comparing instances of police brutality with a scene from his movie Do the Right Thing.

Unarmed African-American man Floyd passed away on 25 May after being apprehended by cops in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who was filmed kneeling on his neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s death has sparked outrage on social media and widespread protests and riots, and Lee added his own powerful statement into the mix on Sunday, when he debuted a short film titled 3 Brothers during an appearance on a CNN special news report.

The short opens with the words “Will History Stop Repeating Itself?”, before cutting together footage of the arrests of Floyd and Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white police officer in 2014, combined with a clip from his 1989 movie Do the Right Thing, in which Bill Nunn’s character Radio Raheem dies during a brawl after being choked by police officers.

Speaking to CNN host Don Lemon, the BlacKkKlansman director said the protesters, even those who have turned to rioting, are merely demanding justice against the ongoing issue of racism and police brutality in America.

“How can people not understand why people are acting the way they are?” he warned. “This is not new, we saw with the riots in the ’60s, the assassination of Dr (Martin Luther) King, every time something jumps off and we don’t get our justice, people are reacting the way they do to be heard … We are seeing this again and again and again…This is the thing: the killing of black bodies, that is what this country is built upon.”

Spike later posted the short film on Twitter with the caption, “3 Brothers-Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd.”

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Spike Lee to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

Spike Lee will serve as jury president during the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.The BlacKkKlansman director and his team of jurors, which are yet to be announced, will watch all the films selected for the official competition and decide which should receiv…

Spike Lee will serve as jury president during the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.

The BlacKkKlansman director and his team of jurors, which are yet to be announced, will watch all the films selected for the official competition and decide which should receive the Palme d’Or for Best Film.

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement. “To me, the Cannes Film Festival (besides being the most important film festival in the world – no disrespect to anybody) has had a great impact on my film career. You could easily say Cannes changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.

“In closing, I’m honoured to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Fremaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship.”

The director has had a strong relationship with Cannes since his debut feature, She’s Gotta Have It, premiered in 1986, and his follow-up, Do the Right Thing, was selected for the official competition in 1989. He has had seven films debut at the French festival, with his most recent effort, BlacKkKlansman, winning the Grand Prix in 2018.

Lee follows in the footsteps of Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who headed the jury in 2019 and selected Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite for the Palme d’Or. The thriller became the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars on Monday.

The 73rd Cannes Film Festival is set to run 12 to 23 May.

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