Spike Lee had a rough time on Saturday when he inadvertently announced French actress Julia Ducournau as the winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, for the horror-thriller Titane, at the top of the show, instead of the end.
It started when the event’s hostess asked Lee, in French, if he could reveal the “first prize” of the evening. Lee apparently took that to mean first place, instead of the chronological first prize, resulting in the embarrassing moment.
Lee himself spent several moments with his head in his hands before apologizing profusely for taking a lot of the suspense out of the evening, according to the New York Post.
“I have no excuses,” Lee told reporters afterward. “I messed up. I’m a big sports fan. It’s like the guy at the end of the game who misses the free throw.”
“I messed up,” he added. “As simple as that.”
After several false starts, Lee convinced Sharon Stone to make the Palme d’Or announcement, explaining, “She’s not going to mess it up.”
Ducournau is only the second female filmmaker to win the Palme d’Or in the Cannes festival’s 74-year history.
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