Spike Lee apologises after defending Woody Allen: My words were wrong

Los Angeles, Jun 15 (PTI) Filmmaker Spike Lee has issued an apology for his comments in which he defended his 'friend', embattled director Woody Allen, saying he won't tolerate sexual harassment, assault or violence.

Allen has become a subject of discussion over the resurfacing of the sexual assault allegations levelled against him by his stepdaughter Dylan Farrow, journalist Ronan Farrow's sister, which caught steam in the wake of the #MeToo uprising.

The director has repeatedly denied the accusations.

In an interview with New York City radio station WOR's 'In the Morning' programme last week, Lee called Allen a 'great filmmaker' who was being 'erased' from the society as a result of the 'cancel culture'.

'I'd just like to say Woody Allen is a great, great filmmaker and 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,' the director, whose film 'Da 5 Bloods' started streaming on Netflix from June 12, said.

'Woody is a friend of mine, a fellow Knick fan, so I know he’s going through it right now,' Lee added.

His comments sparked outrage on social media and following the criticism, Lee later took to Twitter to apologise and took back his remarks.

'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 (sic),' he wrote.

Lee's support for the director arrives after Allen faced major backlash for releasing a new memoir, 'Apropos of Nothing'.

After Hachette Book Group (HBG) decided not to publish the book following a massive backlash, Arcade Publishing released the book in the US in March.

Grand Central Publishing, a division of HBG, had acquired the memoir a year ago and was scheduled to release it on April 7 but dropped the deal after its employees walked-out in protest.

The walk-out followed criticism of the memoir from Ronan and Dylan Farrow. PTI RDS RDS