Spike Lee Likens Coronavirus Situation to War in Support of Cannes Cancellation

Agreeing with the move taken by festival director Thierry Fremaux, the 'BlacKkKlansman' filmaker stresses that this pandemic is 'no joke' and the crisis is 'not some movie.'

AceShowbiz - Cannes Film Festival jury president Spike Lee has strongly backed the cancellation of the French movie event due to the coronavirus crisis.

Cannes' festival director Thierry Fremaux announced on Thursday, March 19 that the iconic film event would not go ahead as planned in May, with much of Europe and the U.S. facing lockdown and travel restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

Spike, who was to have served as the movie showcase's jury president, backed the move wholeheartedly, despite his disappointment, as he compared the situation to a, "war," echoing the words of French President Emmanuel Macron.

"I agree 100 percent with Thierry and the Cannes Film Festival," the "BlacKkKlansman" filmaker tells Variety. "The world has changed and it's changing every day. People are dying and France's president has said, several times - I'm paraphrasing - 'We are at war.' We are in a war-like time."

"The stuff that we love has to take a back seat: movies, TV, sports, the NBA is a global sport, baseball. So many things have been postponed, and I agree with this move."

Organizers have, however, announced their intention to reschedule if possible, and Spike says he will make time to head up the jury if new dates are found.

"Let's not forget this is the world's biggest film festival, the world's biggest stage for cinema and I'll be the first black president of the jury," he adds. "So look, I can't pretend (to know) what's going to happen tomorrow. Everybody has to pray, get on bended knee, pray, we get out of this, find a vaccine, get back on our feet - physically, emotionally and financially worldwide. This is no joke. It's not some movie. People are dying."

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