Spike Lee addressed Sunday’s accidental slip-up at the Cannes Film Festival, where he announced the night’s biggest award winner at the beginning of the ceremony.
“I have no excuses. I messed up,” Spike said at a press conference, per Deadline. “I’m a big sports fan. It’s like the guy at the end of the game in the foul line, he misses the free throw, or a guy misses a kick, so no apologies.” He added that he “was very specific to speak to the people of Cannes and tell them that I apologize. They said forget about it.”
Lee, who was the head of this year’s jury, was asked by the evening’s host to reveal the first winner of the night. Instead, he accidentally revealed the top prize winner, which was meant to be the last award of the night.
Lee’s fellow juror, Maggie Gyllenhaal, said his gaffe was like “an injection of humanity into the middle of the ceremony.”
The prize ultimately went to Titane, a violent psychodrama from French director Julia Ducournau.
Lee offered a heartfelt apology before announcing the winner at the appropriate time. “In my 63 years of life, I’ve learned people get a second chance. So this is my second chance. I apologize for messing up,” he said. “It took a lot of suspense out of the night.”
Watch a clip of the moment he messed up below.
Here’s the wild clip of Spike Lee accidentally announcing the Palme d’Or winner at the very beginning of the closing ceremony pic.twitter.com/l7kD1AP57A
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 17, 2021