Spike Lee dissed Clint Eastwood about the lack of any mention of black soldiers in his films about Iwo Jima. Eastwood said Lee should study history and shut his face. Now Lee has this to say in response.
After the remarks were reported around the world, Lee hit back, reminding the older man that they were not “on a plantation”.
“First of all, the man is not my father and we’re not on a plantation either. He’s a great director. He makes his films, I make my films … And a comment like ‘A guy like that should shut his face’ – come on Clint, come on. He sounds like an angry old man right there.”
“I’m not making this up. I know history. I’m a student of history. And I know the history of Hollywood and its omission of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to the second world war. Not everything was John Wayne, baby.”
“Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face. This is the last straw. I feel like I’ve been denied, I’ve been insulted, I’ve been mistreated. But what can you do? We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism.”
“I never said he should show one of the other guys holding up the flag as black. I said that African-Americans played a significant part in Iwo Jima.
“For him to insinuate that I’m rewriting history and have one of the four guys with the flag be black … no one said that. It’s just that there’s not one black in either film. And because I know my history, that’s why I made that observation.”
“Even though he’s trying to have a Dirty Harry flashback, I’m going to take the Obama high road and end it right here. Peace and love.”
Peace and love, perhaps, but now Italians are taking a shot at Lee now that the flodgates are open.
According to Bill Dal Cerro, president of the Italic Institute of America, Lee may have his own anti-Italian racist tendencies to worry about.
“Spike Lee is very talented, but I sometimes wish he’d practice what he preaches,” Dal Cerro said. “His points about African-Americans are well taken, but, ironically, he does the same thing to Italians in his films.”