Spike Lee has been in the headlines a lot lately. Obviously, he’s out there promoting his new Netflix feature, “Da 5 Bloods,” which arrived on the service last Friday. The filmmaker is also very vocal about the recent protests and the killing of George Floyd. But over the weekend, the filmmaker found himself in the news due to his controversial thoughts about Woody Allen.
Eventually, Lee backtracked on his original comments about cancel culture and his apparent defense of Woody Allen against the claims of sexual assault. And it’s that apology that got fellow filmmaker Paul Schrader to comment, as the “First Reformed” writer-director was saddened to find out that Lee wasn’t strong enough to “stand up to the PC lynch Mob.”
On Facebook, Schrader wrote, “This is dispiriting. If anyone could stand up to the PC lynch mob at this moment it would be Spike. But apparently not. I followed Woody’s history, read his autobiography and, frankly, find it more credible than the Farrow screeds.”
Though fairly short, Schrader’s comments have a lot to say. First, it’s clear that the filmmaker believes Woody Allen and supports the filmmaker, insinuating that Allen was taken down by the “PC lynch mob.” (This being a common term used by people that are opposed to “cancel culture.”) And second, Schrader assumed that Spike Lee was untouchable, as he’s an outspoken, fan-favorite filmmaker that has been a bit of a cultural darling over the past couple of years, with the release of “BlacKkKlansman” and his unwavering support of the Black community, especially in light of recent events. So, it would make sense that Schrader is unhappy that Lee isn’t even able to defend Allen without blowback.
Of course, those who believe the allegations against Allen would say that it doesn’t matter who steps up to defend the controversial filmmaker because a defense of him is an admission to being in the wrong. No matter if you’re Schrader, Lee, or Woody Allen, himself. In that case, Schrader shouldn’t be shocked when Lee is forced to apologize.
Either way, it’s clear that the Woody Allen situation is something that will continue to be a hot-button issue. And for those hoping that, eventually, the filmmaker will find retribution and redemption, that doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.