Over the weekend, the BlacKkKlansman director appeared on WOR 710’s In The Morning show, when the subject of Allen – and the accusations of sexual misconduct that have been made against him, which he has always refuted – came up in the conversation.
Sharing his thoughts, Lee said: “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.”
Referring to him as a “friend” and “fellow Knicks fan”, Lee added that Allen is “going through it right now”.
After facing a backlash, Lee posted a tweet that night saying he “deeply apologises” for his comments about Allen.
“I Deeply Apologize. 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.”
He ended his tweet with the message: “Truly, Spike Lee.”
Allen has always maintained his innocence in light of repeated accusations from Dylan Farrow that he molested her when she was a child.
In 1992, he was investigated over a claim that he had sexually assaulted her at the family’s Connecticut home, though prosecutors did not charge him over the allegations, which he claims had been fabricated by his former partner Mia Farrow.
While many of Allen’s past collaborators, including Greta Gerwig and Timothée Chalamet, have expressed regret over working with him, others have spoken out in his defence.
Annie Hall star Diane Keaton said that Allen is her “friend” and that she “continues to believe him”, while Scarlett Johansson faced a backlash last year when she said she’d be happy to work with him again.