Cannes Film Fest 2021: Spike Lee Addresses Early Reveal of Palme d’Or Winner: “I Have No Excuses”

The 74th Cannes Film Festival jury president apologized both on-stage during the closing ceremony and after in the jury press conference for his mistake.


Cannes jury president Spike Lee expressed regret for accidentally announcing the film festival’s 2021 Palme d’Or winner ahead of schedule on Saturday during the closing ceremony.

“I have no excuses. I messed up,” he said during the jury press conference for the 74th Cannes Film Festival. “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.”

Lee went on to say that he communicated with the representatives of the festival to express his regret. “I was very specific to speak to the people of Cannes and tell them that I apologize. They said forget about it,” he continued.

He addressed it briefly later on in the press conference while discussing the historic nature of this year’s festival in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We love cinema, and it’s a great honor for us to be on the jury,” Lee aid. “This year, especially, after COVID-19. This is historic. Besides me fucking up, this is historic.”

Lee made his initial mistake when the ceremony’s hostess, French actress Doria Tillier, prompted him to share the evening’s first prize. The misunderstanding led to him revealing who came in first place — Julia Ducournau’s Titane

In response, Lee requested Dillier speak in English to avoid any further confusion.

During the ceremony, Lee referenced the Palme slip-up when it came time to actually reveal the winner. “In 63 years of life I’ve learned that people get a second chance, this is my second chance,” he said. “I apologize for messing up. It took a lot of suspense out of the night I understand, it wasn’t on purpose.”