Celebrity Steven Spielberg Reacts to 'BFG' Author Roald Dahl's Anti-Semitism: 'This Is a Story About Embracing Our Differences' The famed director spoke about the allegations at the 2016 Cannes film festival By Dave Quinn Dave Quinn Instagram Twitter Dave Quinn is an Editor for PEOPLE, working across a number of verticals including the Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams. He joined in 2006 as a Writer/Reporter where he became known for his Bravo and Broadway exclusives across print and digital. Dave is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It. He's appeared on many broadcasts including ABC's Good Morning America, Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, E!'s Daily Pop, NBC's New York Live and PEOPLE's own Reality Check, as well as a number of podcasts like Bitch Sesh, Everything Iconic, Watch What Crappens, Hot Off the Mess, Mention It All, and PEOPLE Every Day. Prior to working at PEOPLE, Dave was the chief Theater Reporter for NBC New York and co-host of Entertainment Weekly's acclaimed TV Recaps series. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 14, 2016 12:25 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock Steven Speilberg did press on the fourth day of the 2016 Cannes film festival Saturday, for the world premiere of – the director’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl‘s 1982 children’s book. But the 69-year-old Jewish director, who won an Oscar for his work on 1994’s Schindler’s List, remained tight-lipped about Dahl’s alleged anti-semitic views. “I wasn’t aware of any of Roald Dahl’s personal stories,” Spielberg told press ahead of the film’s premiere. “I was focused on this story he wrote.” “This is a story about embracing our differences,” he added. Writer Jeremy Treglown’s 1994 unauthorized biography of Dahl – who died in 1990 – describes the children’s author as “a fantasist, an anti-Semite, a bully and a self-publicizing trouble-maker.” Rumors of Dahl’s anti-semitic opinions have left a dark mark on the bright legacy the author created with class books such as James and the Giant Peach, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Related Video: Jessica Capshaw’s Favorite Movie from Steven Spielberg (a.k.a., Her Stepdad) Is . The BFG, hitting theaters July 1, follows the Big Friendly Giant (Oscar-winner ) and his new orphan girl friend (11-year-old newcomer Ruby Barnhill) as they they set out to take on a group of people-eating giants planning to take over the world.