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Spike Lee issues apology after defending Woody Allen

US director walks back statement that fellow filmmaker accused of molesting his own daughter was a ‘friend,’ saying he won’t tolerate sexual misconduct

In this May 14, 2018, photo, Spike Lee appears after the premiere of his film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
In this May 14, 2018, photo, Spike Lee appears after the premiere of his film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK, United States — After voicing support for Woody Allen and criticizing cancel culture, Spike Lee apologized Saturday for words he said were “wrong.”

In an interview Friday on the New York radio station WOR 710, Lee called Allen “a great, great filmmaker.”

“This cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think that when we look back on it, (we’re) gonna see that, short of killing somebody, I don’t if you can just erase somebody like they never existed. Woody’s a friend of mine,” said Lee. “I know he’s going through it right now.”

The following day, Lee tweeted an apology.

“My words were WRONG,” he wrote. “I do not and will not tolerate sexual harassment, assault or violence. Such treatment causes real damage that can’t be minimized.”

Director Woody Allen attends a special screening of ‘Wonder Wheel’ in New York, November 14, 2017. (Evan Agostini/ Invision/ AP)

Allen has been accused of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow when she was 7 years old in the early 1990s. Allen has long denied the allegation. Earlier this year, he released a memoir through Arcade Publishing after his original publisher, Hachette Book Group, dropped the book amid widespread criticism.

Lee’s latest film, the Vietnam War drama “Da 5 Bloods,” debuted Friday on Netflix.

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