Steven Spielberg catches COVID and misses Gotham Awards tribute to Michelle Williams

A blond woman in a black dress and a man with gray hair and glasses who is pointing in a black suit.
Michelle Williams and Steven Spielberg attend the 2022 premiere of “The Fabelmans” in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Steven Spielberg did not attend the Gotham Awards on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to Deadline, Paul Dano revealed the director’s diagnosis during the ceremony while paying tribute to his “Fabelmans” co-star Michelle Williams, who was supposed to be honored by Spielberg that night in New York. Spielberg co-wrote and directed “The Fabelmans,” an autobiographical family drama starring Williams and Dano as a married couple and based on the filmmaker’s real mother and father.

During his introductory speech, Dano recalled reminiscing with Williams at the Los Angeles premiere of “The Fabelmans” about how they got their starts in Hollywood.

In an interview with the New York Times, ‘The Fabelmans’ director Steven Spielberg shared his thoughts on streaming and the state of film.

Nov. 9, 2022

“Michelle said, ‘I remember just driving around town looking for work,’” Dano said, according to Deadline. “I thought, ‘Imagine if that teenage girl knew that at the midpoint of her career she’d be seeing a tribute award at the Gothams from none other than Steven Spielberg, and what would she have thought?’


“And then I thought, ‘Well, what if we had to tell that girl that Steven got COVID?’” he continued. “She’d be like, ‘What’s COVID?’ and that ‘Paul Dano was going to introduce you?’ She’d be like, ‘Who the f— is Paul Dano?’”

The director looks back at his early years — and his life-changing love affair with the movies — in this marvelous new film starring Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Gabriel LaBelle.

Nov. 10, 2022

While accepting her award, Williams marveled at the standing ovation she received and exclaimed, “What is happening? ... I shouldn’t even be out of the house. I just had a baby.”

Other Gotham tribute recipients included “The Woman King” director Gina Prince-Bythewood, introduced by fellow filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow; and the late Sidney Poitier, honored by actor Jonathan Majors. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — the acclaimed fantasy epic starring Michelle Yeoh — scored the award for best feature.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.