Spike Lee Stuns Crowd at Cannes As He Accidentally Announces Major Award Winner Early

by Amy Myers

The most entertaining part of an award ceremony is the suspense before the hosts announce the winners. But, in a momentary slip-up, Spike Lee zapped the excitement out of the night when he revealed the winner of the Palme d’Or award.

Spike Lee attended the Cannes International Film Festival in France as the jury president. U.S. actor and filmmaker, Maggie Gyllenhaal, also sat on the jury and attended the ceremony. Lee is a renowned director who has dedicated his career behind cameras to shed light on important social issues. In 1989, he released his first popular film, Do the Right Thing, based on his own neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Some of his most recent work includes the 2018 film, BlacKkKlansman.

We all know how the order of events goes for any sort of big award ceremony. The hosts have a few laughs, introduce the nominees and show some clips of their work. Then someone in a tux delivers a golden envelope with the winner’s name inside. And as a timpani in the back gives a drum roll, the host slowly and excitedly reveals the winner of the award. Applause commences, the winner takes to the stage, yada yada yada.

With all the awards that Spike Lee has received over the years for his movies, he could run the show himself without a problem. But, perhaps in a moment of excitement, Lee made a mistake that seemed to impact the mood of the night in Cannes, France. Just as the ceremony began, Lee let slip the winner to the night’s most significant award, the Palme d’Or.

Spike Lee Apologizes For His Premature Announcement

The Palme d’Or award is the highest honor of the Cannes International Film Festival. It celebrates the most prestigious film in the entire industry, and this year, Titane, a French-Belgian drama thriller, took home the title.

When Spike Lee first revealed that the film won the Palme d’Or, he laughed it off as a comical mistake. But many viewers and audience members at the ceremony were pretty upset. Thankfully, Lee addressed his mistake more seriously once the time came to actually announce the winner of the award.

During the ceremony, Lee said, “I apologize for messing up. It took a lot of suspense out of the night I understand, it wasn’t on purpose.”

Even still, someone on stage had to stop Spike Lee from again proceeding too soon before all the special guests arrived on stage.

Despite his mistake, Lee said he made amends with the Titane team. In a press conference after the ceremony, the famed director likened his mistake to a kicker missing the winning extra point in a football game.

“No excuses,” Lee said. “I messed up. Simple as that.”