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What To Make Of The Recent Ad Hominem Attacks Against Spike Lee…

What To Make Of The Recent Ad Hominem Attacks Against Spike Lee...

Ok, so what’s going on here folks?

I have absolutely no problem with criticism of any artist’s work, that’s well-supported and argued. But these recent ad hominen attacks against Spike Lee, I just don’t quite get! Maybe you guys can enlighten me…

I initially wasn’t going to post this, but I’ve received enough emails from readers about the matter that I opted to go ahead and at least mention it, especially for those who may not be aware of what’s happening here.

Some of you might recall Clifton Powell’s 2011 rant against Spike Lee, right around the time the supposed “conflict” between Spike and Tyler Perry was in the news, culminating with Tyler Perry saying publicly that Spike Lee can “go straight to hell.

A summary of what Powell said on the Russ Parr morning show follows: 

“I don’t like Spike, for real. I’m just saying it publicly on the radio. Spike is a hater. Spike need to go sit his punk a** down, and stop talking about Tyler Perry. Spike is the worst. If you got a problem with it Spike I’m right here and I’ll beat your punk a**.”

There was a lot more to it than that, but, overall, as I said at the time, it was the wrong forum for Powell to express his frustrations. I have to ask where Antoine Fuqua was at that time, to tell Powell that he should’ve approached Spike privately to handle whatever problems he had/has with him, like he said Spike should’ve done with Quentin Tarantino regarding his feelings about Django Unchained

Most recently, regarding Spike’s public reaction to Django, a handful of public personalities (other than Fuqua) have been vocal about their disagreement with Spike on the film, or their support of Tarantino.

We did post Farrakhan’s last week I think it was.

But like I started this post stating – sound, healthy criticism is one thing; but some of these read as very personal in nature – appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect. Instead of attacking as an answer to the contentions made by Spike, they are instead attacks on his person/character. And I’m not sure to what end.

In the last couple of days or so, Dick Gregory and Luther Campbell (of all people) have joined the conversation, both publicly chiming in on the matter, sharing their disdain for Spike, for his opinion on Django Unchained.

First, from Dick Gregory (which actually really surprised me, as I didn’t expect this from the activist) during an interview with YouTube channel, W.E. A.L.L. B.E. T.V.

“That lil thug ain’t even seen the movie, he’s acting like he’s white…so it must be something personal, because when I looked at all those black entertainers, that know Spike Lee, how are you going to attack this man and don’t be attacking them… You’re saying, ‘everybody’s a fool but me?’ [Talking about] ‘it offended my ancestors,’ but when you did ‘She’s Got To Have It’ and some of those other thug movies you did… when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?”

In response to Gregory, I’d offer the argument that Spike has indeed challenged his fellow black entertainers; he’s been doing it since the 1980s.

And from Luther Campbell, who actually penned an op-ed for the Miami New Times:

“Screw Spike Lee… Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime…”

I’ll just let you meditate on the absurdity of that sentence for a minute before I continue with the rest of his statement…

Alright, here’s the rest of it:

“Lee needs to get over himself. He’s upset because Tarantino makes better movies. The man who put Malcolm X on the big screen is Hollywood’s resident house negro; a bougie activist who wants to tell his fellow white auteurs how they can and can’t depict African Americans… Spike is upset because Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the movie is just like him: a conniving and scheming Uncle Tom.”

The first thing that’ll likely come to some of you is, who gives a rat’s ass what Luther Campbell has to say about anything? I know. I’m just the messenger, feeding you the information. But some people do; I can’t dismiss what the man says completely, even though I think it’s inane. 

There have likely been others that I’m not yet aware of, and there might be more to come, since it seems to be open season on Spike Lee right now. And again, I’d have to ask where Antoine Fuqua has been, to tell these folks that they should be handling these issues privately, instead of in public, as he said publicly that Spike should’ve done in the case of Django.

Look folks, long-time readers of this site would have read many of my reviews of Spike’s recent films – most of them what you’d call “negative” critiques (see my reviews of Red Hook Summer and Miracle At St Anna as examples). So I’m not even exactly what you’d call a Spike Lee “fanboy.”

But I’m not a “hater” either. My critiques have been of his work, and not of him; or critiques of his work, and how they might be a reflection of his sensibilities. I don’t know him personally to offer any judgement of his character. And even if I did, I don’t think I’d get on some public platform and discuss them.

He’s a filmmaker who’s made a handful of films that I really love, and others that I don’t. It’s as simple as that for me. 

From Clifton Powell’s rant, to those we’ve highlighted since then, there just seems to be a deeply-rooted animus against Spike that’s maybe been brewing for a long time now. 

However, on the other hand, some might argue that Spike’s reputation and history as the vocal, brash young black filmmaker (the proverbial “angry black man” label became his very own Scarlet Letter) precedes him. After all, he’s had his own share of public battles, instigated by him. Remember Spike versus Whoopi Goldberg; Spike versus Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall; Spike versus Clint EastwoodSpike versus Samuel L. Jacksonand of course, Spike versus Tarantino.

The side you take on any of those “battles” will obviously depend on whether you feel his reasons for his invectives were justified.

But I suppose some would argue that recent events are simply par for the course. He IS Spike Lee. Maybe he revels in this kind of controversy! I don’t know.

However, in closing, I’ll remind you that all this really started when he was asked for his opinion on a film, and he gave it. My problem with that interview was that the interviewer didn’t follow-up Spike’s response with a very necessary question, asking him to further elaborate on why he felt the way he did about Django Unchained. Because the audience is left to speculate. Spike doesn’t strike me as someone who just spouts without support for whatever it is he’s arguing for or against. So, I’d like to hear Spike have a more in-depth discussion on his feelings about the film, instead of just a 40-second soundbite.

If the interviewer did ask Spike to elaborate and explain his stance, and I just missed that part of the interview, please enlighten me.

But feel free to share you own thoughts on this…

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Comments

Tony Butler

Spike is a big boy. He can take care of himself. He chooses to be a flame thrower when he wants to. What goes around, comes around. If he wanted to be more articulate about his critique of Django, he wouldn't need an interviewer to prompt him. I believe I have seen every Spike Lee movie, including his NYU films and have "grown up" with him. I respect him as an auteur, as one of "our" few. But lately, I have been open to the critique of him as a bit of a "hater" in this stage of his career and, by evidence of Red Hook Summer, perhaps a bit spent. Having said that, I would certainly wager that Spike believes and lives by the twin dicta, "Any publicity is good publicity; just spell my name right;" and, in the words of the immortal Melvin Van Peeples, "Early to bed, early to rise; work like hell, and advertise."

MsWilliamsWorld

I stepped away from this post/thread for a bit, come back, and see THIS? You guys… Come on, now. Geez…

Onyx

Before Django, there was Lola Falana as Lola Colt, in a 60s Italian Spaghetti Western that featured a black female gunslinger. There was Woody Strode in Sergeant Rutledge, directed by John Huston. In 1972, Buck and the Preacher, starring Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte and Ruby Dee, in a story line about them helping freed slaves. Sidney was a gunslinger in Duel at Diablo in a 1966 western with James Gardner. I'm not sure why Dick was so heated, but this truly pains me to see one of the great activists not recalling the westerns that came before Django. http://acriticalreviewofthehelp.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/we-are-not-in-control/ And though it wasn't a western, Max Julien's Thomasine and Bushrod was life on the run for a male/female duo in the early 1900s.

Zebra

Zebra's critique of the critique of the critique of the conversation of a fellow filmmakers opinion of an expensive film called DJANGO UNCHAINED.

DJANGO UNCHAINED was an entertaining film in which a guy helps another guy rescue his wife after he agrees to kill people. The film takes place in America at a time when people could own other people based on superficial qualities. The film has many well known actors playing characters, some of these actors I like a lot. Anyway the guy finds his wife but before he can save her, he must kill many people who don't like him. In the end the guy gets his wife and they live happily ever after. Many other people die and don't live happily, the end.

That is the gist of the film to which many people have shared their opinions on. I for one was happy I was entertained. Any reflection or association of past events whether in history or popular culture of this century or the previous 2 centuries are completely stylized for the purpose of telling a story. The story reflects an idea of how a history could go. The story is not real. All the characters in the movie are not real, the actors portraying the characters are real. The director and entire crew of the film's production are real. The experience one has watching the film is real. So does that make all these opinions of the film real? Yes, but it does not make anyone opinion more relevant than another. Including my own. So fuck off and remember you're a real person and this movie will not produce a physical change for the good or ill in your life as long as you remember you're real and the movie is not. Peace to anyone whose opinion is not shared by their peers. It's still valid, but only as much as all other opinions are valid.

When you die, no one will remember your opinion about this movie. Not even Quentin Tarantino will be remember for his opinion.

Zebra

terryscott

I am working on a film about Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 told through a blacksploitation framework where using a "tarantino" ie sodomy as a form of torture by the Ethiopians as retribution to the I talians in their counter defense. #dagothiswop O and it's a comedy

Agent K

I'm just amazed how Luther and Dick Gregory didn't do this with tap dancing shoes.

D

"when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?"

Um, Malcolm X DID wear a Zoot suit…

CareyCarey

For the most part, I've stayed clear of the Spike Lee vs. Quentin Tarantino debate b/c honestly, I don't have ill words for either man. But check this, some are clamoring for a film on Nat Turner. Well, I think they might want to consider the following before they make their move too soon. Listen, I am reading a book titled The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion. The author's foreword reads as follows: Nat Turner is the most famous and most controversial slave rebel in American history. And he remains a storm center of dispute in our time, thanks largely to William Styron's novel, which depicts Nat as a celibate bachelor given to masturbating about white women…. Yet because of the quarrels that swirl around Nat Turner today and because of the limitations of historical evidence about American slavery, almost every line in these pages could carry such qualifications as "it seems to me" or "the evidence suggests," or "the best guess appears to be." Out of deference to readers who already understand that history is largely an interpretive art, that the best we can hope for is a careful approximation of what really happen…

Wow, what do y'all make of that?

Wait, it gets deeper. Check this–> "At this moment, I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and SLAVE OWNER ~ Frederick Douglass

Hmmmmm…. Now, who should tell those stories and which way will they go?!

NO BRAINER

"Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime…" Who the *bleep* is Luther Campbell? Why would he say such a thing? That's total bull*bleep*, just as the backlash Spike is receiving for speaking his mind. Look at these dancing a** n****s, quick to defend the white filmmaker. Where were these maggots when Spike Lee criticized Tyler Perry? Some black people spoke on behalf of Tyler Perry, but they really lined up for miles of city blocks to defend Tarantino. We're an embarrassment as a race.

Woody

If you believe for one second that Lee hasn't seen 'Django', then you're as dumb as he thinks you are. He has seen it and he loves it. He wishes he made it. He only said he wouldn't see it so that his legion of followers would do the same. He actually thought he could hurt the numbers. Spike Lee is a crab.

NYC

Spike Lee is only human, he is not perfect and his concern shouldn't be criticized so overwhelmingly, Thank God we atleast have him to be somewhat vocal upon the many atrocities that Hollywood have inscribed into our culture, but there is much more happening in black cinema than a few voices… look into the films THE MINORITY & CYBORNETICS, there is much more diversity in black cinema than what the mainstream media reveals to us.

BONO

This is great! Love You Spike…keep walking.

92nd Infantry

Why all this ruckus?? We gave white folks a pass to use nigger when Hip-Hip made it mainstream-so we have to take responsibility…As for Spike-where is the uproar over "Miracle At St. Ana"??? Spike had an opportunity to tell a poignant story about grandfathers/fathers/uncles etc. WWII experience and he BLEW IT! Negroes are a fickle bunch when it comes to whoopin'/hollerin' about another white person doing us wrong. god dammit! If you want to see a movie about NAT TURNER or SLAVERY that is raw dog-then band together and get it done…ALOT OF YOU KEYBOARD ACTIVISTS are negroes who if the revolution was televised, would stay at home and watch BET…SHUT UP and put your money where your mouth is!!!! P.S. Where were you FUNKY NEGROES when R. KELLY was actin' the pedophile??? WHERE WAS THE OUTRAGE??? THE PROTEST??? FUCKING HYPOCRITES.

LeonRaymond

Spike should have been smarter, after all these years, I would have thought in his massive upper crust view he would know how to play the game. He could have kept his opinions on the film stated "No Comment" and then publicly came out in favor of Ava DuVernay's MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and gave her accolades and he would have merited mad support and respect from the community.!!

F.P.

Spike Lee IS a hater. Your list of beefs proves it. And the man that publicly picks fights is due a lot of animosity when he cannot stop hating. And while it's a harsh criticism, HAVING SEEN THE FILM!!!, Luther is right. Spike is the house negro Stephen of Hollywood. He resents anyone having more power over the black narrative than him, and putters and spouts and intimidates in the same manner as that fictional tyrant. Oh sure, Spike helps younger filmmakers and wants them to succeed and fill the ranks of a white industry. He'll help them get started, but when they get too big, he turns on them. Somewhere in that dusty drawer of his in a 40AAM office, there's a slavery script, and man it must piss him off that a white man got to make his slavery script first. Ignorance, like choosing to diss a fellow filmmaker while refusing to see his work, plus consistent failure, like most of his works over the last 10 years, plus imperiousness, like believing that a word which was used by the entire nation is off-limits in a script about the time it was used, equals someone worthy of dismissal and derision. When Spike lets his films do the talking, instead of his ever increasingly hostile mouth, he'll have earned back some respect from his peers and fans.

Rebb the Griot

I admire Spike Lee's discipline. He has, through many years and much criticism, remained true to himself. However, we live in an interdependent, white male dominated society. I'm disappointed that he hasn't learned to "play the game".

Ty

I'm sure spike lee downloaded a DVDscreener and watched django unchained on his laptop at home so no one would see him buy a ticket.

Django is a good piece of fiction the way zero dark thirty is. Both attempt to give graphic authentic visuals of what really happened in a fictional story but django is little more self aware than zero dark is. Django makes the issues more "enjoyable" to think about. I guess. I dunno, i think about it like huckleberry finn.

Spike lee maybe the more authentic one between the two but for some reason tarantino's fictional world's use of the n-word feels less distant than in spike lee's hyperhoods. The word "nigger" really really stings and i feel even more embarassed now when i hear the word "nigga" used jokingly or sarcastically. Something ive never felt while watching a spike lee movie mostly because even those feel fictional and distant.

slb

I made two comments on this post. Were they removed? What happened to them? Just wondering.

B

I read very good quote on Django by the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Slave revenge has the luxury of making slavery primarily about white people".

We can see how it was manifested in the reviews and who got accolades for this movie.

Love

Call me Spike lee makes something worth seeing. In the mean time I will be seeing Lincoln and Django. Two great films by directors who still know how to make good film. Miracle at st Anna and red hook summer is a mess.

Tonton Michel

You see this? This is the nonsense I'm talking about right here when it comes to this movie. Negroes have lost their mutha loving minds over a revenge/action flick. Spike Lee a Hollywood house negro? Really? Campbell needs his legs broken for coming out of his butt with that junk. The power and value these fools have given to this movie is insane! They're defending this thing like it is actually a real thing its some sort of historical documentary. They tear their black butts apart while Hollywood laughs all the way to the bank. Sickening.

Srb199

I'm on Spike's side because he is the only person challenging the stories Hollywood makes about black with regular, everyday, hard working, non amazing athlete, entertaining, attitude slinging images, and stories. Not just tales of "how it is", but stories. We have those. They're not all jokes, and around the way. They're serious, historic, legitimate, important.

Donella

I admire Spike Lee's longevity in an industry that coddles white male supremacy, but savages anyone not part of the club. Lee's endured twenty years of hatred in public and behind-the-scenes, yet still continues to produce content. Lately, Hollywood seems desperate, even frantic, to shut Spike Lee down, to silence him, to make him a pariah and to humiliate him into submission. Lee won't go and he certainly won't go gently. I admire that strength of purpose in him. I cannot think of any Black director who's matched his output or his tenacity.

Rico

Who cares what spike think anyway. It's not like anybody goes to see his films anymore. I am happy million ran out to see Django for them self and loved it.

Dan

So nice to see all these people getting on Spike. It's also great to see Django is doing outstanding. QT and Tyler Perry must be happy as hell. What goes around comes around. And spike wonders why nobody black or white want to work with him.

JEFTCG

Spike's mouth writes checks that his body (of work) can't cash, a cardinal sin in the Black community. For years we have listened to Spike start "wars" with other folks (whose stars are brighter than his), which would be fine if his narrative body of work could back up his claims of greatness. That he is admired worldwide by aspiring filmschool directors and hungry actors is not enough to claim A-list legitimacy. Spike is a B-list narrative moviemaker and he looks straight punkish when he picks on the big boys. He movies are just not good enough to back up his mouth.

Chris

One are people wasting time on this has been. On a good note Django you know the movie that got 5 Oscar nods will pass 140 million this weekend.

Daniel

One last thing: Spike didn't inspire me to be a filmmaker. Spike showed me that I could do it because when I was introduced to him, all I knew were white filmmakers. Spike became the doorway to discovering black american cinema. He's my grump old distant uncle who I've never met, but have heard countless stories about him and marvel in his amazing and difficult art work. Yeah, he's loud, but I love him.

HelarryS

“I had no interest in seeing yet another movie about noble suffering. I wanted to see foot to ass.” – Reginald Hudlin (Producer of Django)

Daniel

I've admired and respected Spike Lee since I read his book "Spike Lee's Gotta Have It" before SGHI opened in St. Louis in 1987. And while I haven't always embraced all of the films he's made since then, I respect him as an artist and I think true artists are always pushing their visions and their exploration of the craft and when that happens, the result isn't always as widely accepted by the audience. I don't think there are many artists who have careers spanning over twenty years of prolific work that don't have a few, shall we say, clunkers in their ouvre. Spike himself has argued many times, for critics, namely, to not judge him on one film, but to look at his entire body work and he has been striving for decades to build up his body of work. And his body of work just doesn't just include feature length narrative films. It also includes documentaries, performances (stage and captured on film), shorts, books, commercials and stints as artistic director/editor, festival programmer/curator etc. The man has done a lot and continues to work. And, as many have said, Spike has always been vocal. He has often spoke his mind when others haven't. And I don't get the impression that he cares too much about what people think of him when he does share his opinions about the industry or basketball. I've often cringed when I've heard some of his comments. Spike, why oh why did you say that? Knowing full well what the reaction would be. But there's almost something fearless about him doing this. Spike is emotional and sometimes not very articulate, but he actually doesn't express opinions too different from other well-known black filmmakers such as Charles Burnette or Haile Gerima. The difference being Gerima and Burnette are not as high profile and the things they say often don't go beyond the college campus or websites like this. I've never gotten the impression that Spike expects us to like his films. I don't think any artist could survive the weight of their ego if they felt that for over twenty years. Spike Lee is entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us are. It's really the Internet-soundbyte culture that makes it almost impossible for anyone to fully explain what they mean and to stimulate progressive discussion.

CareyCarey

In defense of Spike Lee and his film Red Hook summer, I am compelled to paste a copy of a comment by the insightful visitor Jaidi Baraka. It's an opinion shared by me and Artbizzy (below). "Leave Spike Lee alone! He has a right, as a filmmaker, to his own Auteur, which is his personal vision. The "flaw", Mr. Seewood speaks of as being the "disaffected" character that can be seen at the end of nearly all of Spike Lee's films…that does not encourage us [to] think about the circumstances as they might be seen operating in our own lives, is Spike Lee's Auteur, his personal vision, which, as an artist, he has the unencumbered right to pursue and express! If Spike Lee is guilty of anything, it is his being one of the very, very few black film directors out there, who according to some people–Mr. Seewood, included–who should be all things to all people, which robs him of his freedom–his uniqueness–to express his inner vision! White film Directors are free to be themselves: Robert Altman (unique); Quentin Tarantino (violent); Jean-Luc Godard (avant garde); David Cronenberg (perverse), John Waters (pornographic); and George A. Romero (dystopian). However, when it comes to Spike Lee he is expected to be 'generic'. He is burdened with having to draw one picture of what a cat looks like, simultaneously, to millions of pairs of eyes! I would argue that if there were more black and Latino Directors making film, Spike Lee would not be so isolated and used a lone example. His vision would be merely one of many, many others! In addition, Mr. Seewood's criticism of Spike Lee's "unresolved issues" appears rooted in the SILLY notion that films should depart from life by tying up all circumstances–no matter how obtuse–into a neat bow. Life is NOT like that, and Spike Lee's films show that, often times, in life, NOTHING is resolved: another day follows; not an ending. If Mr. Seewood was not so prejudiced in his views, he would have recognize that the "disaffected character" that is at the heart of Spike Lee's main protagonists is a reflection of the ambivalence that meets the dysfunctional and pathological acts and behaviors that occurs within the black family. Too often, rape, incest, murder, physical abuse, molestation, manipulation, homophobia, shame, and her sister, guilt, is either ignored, denied, put up with, hushed up, and/or suffered. It is these "unresolved issues" that Mr. Seewood criticizes Spike Lee for not exploring in his films, are actually what Spike Lee is imploring us to think about! Nothing, in life is easy, and he refuses to make it so in his films. Instead, Spike Lee is giving all of us the opportunity to question, hope, and take courage to make the first step towards Deliverance!"

Luc

To publicly denounce a film without even seeing it speaks volumes about one's personal character and true motivations behind their denouncement. I think it's fairly obvious why Spike is getting waylaid. If anyone is going to try to publicly and intelligently bash a film they better well have watched it first or they absolutely deserve to be bashed themselves. Films are films, I've liked some of Spike's, I've disliked some of Spike's, I've LOVED some of Spike's; same with Tarantino's. But I drew these opinions from having SEEN the films and judging them based on their merit and the story the film tells, not a how I feel about a single character or the subject matter. There are racists, Uncle Tom's, murderers, bigots and every other form of unsavoury character out there in the world, but to present these characters in the telling of a larger story in no way means that the story supports the views of these characters. If he hated it halfway through he could have walked out and gotten his money back.

Agent K

I'm surprised no one mentioned Katt William's response.

B

WHY IN THE HELL ARE PEOPLE SAYING SPIKE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE FIRST!
How is his opinion uninformed?
Let’s say you went to see Django…..
What information did you use to determine that you wanted to see Django? (trailer, reviews, word of mouth, director’s other film, actors ). You must have seen something you liked from the per-promotion right? Or do you pay to see movie you know you don't like and have no interest. . Why can’t people use that SAME information to determine if they find it offensive or don't want to see it? So the info on Django was good enough for you to part with your money, but it's not good enough for Spike and others to keep theirs?

Some black people take their money very serious when it comes to Hollywood. Whether people want to admit it or not when you pay for the movie ticket you have chosen to support the movie. Period. Hand wringing after it means nothing, you voted with your dollar. They have your money and could careless if you were offended or degraded after the fact. I don’t get the mentality "I am going to pay to see if I am offended”.
If one finds something problematic with a movie and pays for it anyway they are foolish. If Hollywood can get you to pay for a movie in-spite of your reservations you’ve been duped.

Darryl

One more thing I forgot to say. Clark Peters should have been nominated and won an Oscar for his role in Red Hook Summer, which I thought was good movie. I love it when a filmmaker got the conviction to tell a story his way and not cater to bs to water it down.

Darryl

These black celebrities are going after Spike Lee because they think they going to gain favor with the white establishment by doing this. Spike has been a thorn in the establishment side for years and they are enjoying every minute of these fools falling into their trap making what Spike was trying to say trivia. This is the reason why black folks continue to be in the same place year after year in the industry because we so busy attacking each other that we don't build a solid infrastructure that black talent can thrive in. Spike unlike the folks attacking him has hired black talent in front and most important behind the camera, taught a generation of black filmmakers about the business and how to make films by the books he would release with his movies. The people that's attacking him are doing it for pubilicity, don't pay attention to them. Most of these black celebrities are selfish and only care about getting theirs, when they do talk , its just for their own benefit because if they really wanted to change the game they would have gotten together a long time ago to build that infrastructure we need in black film. I'm going to leave you with this ,when Spike was on top you had an explosion of black films in the late 80's and early 90's. Since these other guys have been on top after that, the output of black films have decrease every year. That's all you need to know about their agenda and what they really about.

urbanauteur

One thing i can say about Spike Lee, he's CONSISTENT!! ..this is NOT NEW, Spike has been sounding the Cultural Nationalist Alarm since his inception into this Make-Believe Matrix, so its not wonder we got these bandwagon[Shade Negroes] coming all out the woodwork and manning a full frontal attack on his character devoid of the issues which ironically, take second billing,its very personal and infused with putrid hate filled venom!, lack for a better analogy- i could call it, HERD MENTALITY and i will have add Granola Bar In-TELL-Michael Eric Dyson to this 'ANTI-Spike Lee' fracas, whose campaigning like Al Sharpton for a MSNBC talk show too..i got issues with this Auteur-Lee, but they mainly been his reactionary table top politics that SEEPS into his artistic output, but then whose me to contradict another artist in his/her capacity to create said ART..?..well? i guess that will just leave me to just TRIP on the amount of Hollywhite-Aspirations-So-I-Am-Going_to-Dismantle-Spike Lee-As-A-Person_Anit-Stink_Campaign_So-I-Can_Get-Me_A-3-Picture-Deal-With-Brain Grazer-and_Mick-fuckin_Jagger!..Not!?…

willie dynamite

All of this only makes the character Stevens, that Sam Jackson played in the film that much more viable. For all of these folks to come to the "defense" of QT based on Spike's comment only proves the Willie Lynch letters, real or not, had some merit. Yes it can be seen as Spike's chickens coming home to roost, he has been outspoken towards other filmmakers always but these attacks on the man are pathetic and it has nothing to do with his latest films. This shouldn't even be the focus, Karl spoke on the REAL issue, the fact that NO filmmaker of color would have never been given the opportunity to make a film like this. That is the only aspect that matters all of this other bossip is a waste of time.

JJ Evans

If it wasn't for people like Spike calling some people out, Hollywood could easily get out of control and start producing black face films again, or something close to it. There is a generation coming up that don't even know their history and what's offensive anymore. Maybe some of you have never seen old Hollywood's depiction of Blacks. True, some people can overboard with image consciousness and can be over sensitive, but at the same time, it has stopped a lot of weeds from growing in the garden as well.

Ras The Exhorter

Dick Gregory, Luther Campbell and Clifton Powell… fuq! What absolute assbags, the near irrelevance of these so-called Black media fixtures automatically debases the value of their statements.

Luther Campbell, who is so original an artist, stole his MC moniker from a popular movie showed the pink of his ass with his ignorant as a coon statement about the false Black experience of Spike's films.

Dick Gregory… aren't you supposed to be measuring your coffin?

The criticisms of MALCOLM X in regards to portraying Malcolm – prior to becoming a Muslim and therefore caught up in the fever-pitch of materialism – in a Zoot suit always struck me as completely short-sighted and borderline demonstrating illiteracy; in his autobiography, Malcolm clearly stated that he embraced the bling-bling fashions of the era; that's not an inaccurate portrayal (it might have been a bit over-stylized, but so what it's a movie not a documentary… and Spike knows the difference).

If one feels that Spike should have only shown the life of Malcolm post-jail, post-conversion to Islam, then he would have been doing a disservice to the man, the icon, the political figure, the civil rights leader because that 180 degree transformation is part and parcel of what made Malcolm's story so inspiring and awesome.

Now, is Spike being a bitch, punk, lil thug for making his statements about DJANGO? I say, "No," it's his prerogative not to see the film, and one can tell from the trailers what would considered disrespectful to an African-American's ancestors. Although, he's kind of sounding like Bob Dole when he shit on NATURAL BORN KILLERS and hadn't even seen the film.

I'm not a QT fan, I haven't seen one of his mish-mash films since KILL BILL Vol. 1, and decided to see DJANGO, because I could see it for free and I love Spaghetti Westerns, and true to form DJANGO was 45 minutes too long and overall a poor cinematic story (the narrative drive was ultimately too simple, and the villain never really presented any danger to Django or Waltz… and we all know that a hero is only as good as his adversary is bad; everyone in DJANGO was a fool… except for wily, old house nigger Sam Jackson, who should have had his skinned lightened not darkened for the role!

The backlash against Spike is, shall we say, part of what builds up when you climb to the top of the grease pole – people are bound to want to knock you off, especially those with less talent. Regardless of what you think of Spike as person that should have no bearing on how you view his cinema, and SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, SCHOOL DAZE, DO THE RIGHT THING, JUNGLE FEVER, MALCOLM X, SHE HATE ME and INSIDE MAN are fantastic work – and that's more work than QT has done… and we all can argue that Spike's best work is some of the best work in the last 30 years, can't say the same for QT's work.

The appeal of DJANGO to many a Black is the revenge fantasy aspect of it; Blacks don't get to kill whites with impunity and glee in film, TV, radio or even real life… and the foot on the neck is still palpable for too many Blacks (just look at the wealth gap… a Brandeis study pointed out that whites have 20x more wealth than Blacks… and this is excluding home ownership!).

The "they've never seen a Black man on a horse before" statement strikes at the heart of Black male self-worth; it codifies the assertion that Black men do have value and attributes and traits of power, except that American society does its best to castrate Black men (see Tom Burrell's book BRAINWASHED for more on that)… that does give the movie some cultural currency, but it's still a mish-mash rip-off of a film that doesn't have the bite that it could have had.

What kills me is that it seems that Black entertainers are the only ones who air their grievances with and bash other Black entertainers in the media. I'm sure a lot of people dislike any number of white entertainers, but where's the media fisticuffs? Where's the "hating"? Where's the "fuck you, you bitch ass white boy"? (which is NEVER said).

Spike can say what he wants… and so can everyone else. It's like people seem to forget that QT was beating people up and shit-talking other filmmakers himself when he first came to prominence, and continues shit-talking to this day — publicly, too, and yet, are white performers and other non-entities (e.g. Luther Campbell) taking pot shots?

JJ Evans

No one ever interviewed Spike about Django Unchained. Someone simply asked him in a tweet if he was going to see the movie and he just gave his honest opinion via Twitter. It's really no different from Spielberg's opinion towards Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful which portrayed the times of the Holocaust. Both Django Unchained and Life is Beautiful are somewhat cartoon-like depictions of horrific times. You have to expect people to feel offended.

Mark @ Darla

In the public domain 'you give opinions you get opinions' Spike just not the master of his domain.

Mark @ Darla

In the public domain 'you give opinions you get opinions' Spike just not the master of his domain.

FlowJoe

Spike needs to learn from Ang Lee about being a director. STFU, PRODUCE/DIRECT and make great viable profitable moving MOVIES. All this opinionated commentary he feels justified and required to speak should be tacit!! Spike is perennially UPSET. TP makes WAY more money the he, Spike gets upset, QT gets to be on the board of Cannes, Spike doesn't, Spike gets upset, the Knicks keep losing….Spike is just UPSET!!! Spike is an over opinionated little man, who has never really supported other directors in any way especially other AA directors. Yes he has helped actors but he can control them when he hires them. Hey Spike, what about Nola Darling, Girl 6….talk about disrespectful!!! Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of his work, but all this commentary….TACIT!!

Anderson

In this town, you're only as good as your last hit. Expect all the Spike Lee backlash to go away if he hits a homerun with 'OldBoy'.

Get Yo Mind Right

The controversial “Django Unchained” action figures have officially been DISCONTINUED … after several African American groups called for a boycott of the dolls … TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to the toy production tell us … shortly after advocacy groups like Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope spoke out against the figurines … the Weinstein Company (which produced the film) reached out to the toy company and told them to put the kibosh on the toy line ASAP.

We're told the toy company agreed, insisting they never intended to offend anyone … and halted production immediately.

Sources tell us … the toymakers only released somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 dolls before shutting down production.

We reached out to the Weinstein Company for comment, so far no word back. But earlier this week we got Christoph Waltz out in Hollywood and it sounds like the 'Django' cast has already learned the fate of the action figures.

Walter Harris Gavin

This is all nonsense. Tarantino is free to make whatever film, tell whatever story he chooses as does Spkie. Remember it his his film and presented from his perspective. Just as there are as many ways of being black as there are black people, there will never be a definitive film, book, play, whatever on SLAVERY! The only thing that really matters is that folks need to acknowledge the centrality of the "black" experience to the American Story.

Curtis

Spike was a great filmmaker back in the 90s. The problem now is that his work is trash. You talk shit about other people but get mad when they talk shit about you. Get real Spike. The same people you talke shit about ( Tarantino, Eastwood, Tyler Perry, Sam Jackson, Fuqua) are on top of the world right now and where are you. Spike if you can not take it then don't dish it. That goes for your supporters as well

Trevian

GET ' EM J! I couldn't agree with you more! Spike Lee is consistent 200% of the time. That takes conviction. His current or past work takes a back seat to his conviction…of which those who chastise him surely lack.

J

White directors have the chance to make bad movies, say stupid and racist comments, and still get the chance to make films, profit off of blacks, and be celebrated. Spike Lee states his opinion which I agree with, and people lose it because how dare he speak against this great white director who has chosen to present this exploitive, I mean HEARTFELT depiction of slavery. Wow, a black man killing white man on screen, with rick ross on the soundtrack, so empowering, revolutionary. Whites have the chance to make money off actors who are willing to sell themselves out for some scraps to have a working role inside master's house. And now I see blacks are more apologists of all this behavior, and are willing participants in it, because we've supposedly come so far in America. A white man will always profit off of our story, our pain, something is wrong with that. And this goes beyond entertainment, it deals at how you see yourself and how you're seen by others. We've seem to have accepted to be at the bottom, when the other is no higher than us though we may be sold that everyday.

audiodramatist

Then JAMIE and KERRY ride off into the SUNSET together (for real this time).
From the Cracked web site:
And after seeing the film's HUGE BOX OFFICE NUMBERS and FRESH TOMATO SCORE, SPIKE LEE cries.

END

Greg

What a nice way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. QT and the Weinsteins laugh (at us) all the way to the bank with their Slave/Spaghetti Western movie…action figures sold separately on Amazon.com by some company called NECA?!?!?!

Neca, are you crazy?

The joke is really on us and everyone is laughing, except us. I wonder what Antoine Fuqua, Dick Gregory and company have to say about the slave dolls. Talk about disrespecting our ancestors, we don't even see a cut of the profits from the dolls.

Although, it could be worse – Luke could have jumped to Spike's defense. That really would have been sad.

Yo

Spike Lee is a bully and he hasn't made a decent film in years – DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) is phenomenal but I can't stand Lee anymore (as both a person and a filmmaker). I understand why people clamor to reconcile Lee's public "jerkiness" time after time- it's because he once made important contributions to cinema – but he's a bully and he's not a good filmmaker anymore.

JMac

It's just because he's so visible/vocal and he's still the ish… You'd have to be to garner so much attention. Paul Mooney had nothing nice to say about Django either – and he slao didn't see the film – but nobody's going after him. PM is not relevant anymore. Besides, it's the American way. People love you as the underdog but once you get some shine it's more fun to tear you down.

Monique a Williams

It's corny to clown someone else's work when yours is crap. Red Hook Summer couldn't have been worse if he tried. He's the old man at the party, still doing the Hustle and cracking on the new dances. Stop already.

CareyCarey

"Don’t you call me brother unless you really mean it. How can you call me brother when I can’t even trust you behind my back. How can you call me brother when we can’t even have a man to man talk" ~ The O'Jays

As I was reading the comments I thought of that song. I mean, so this is what we've come to? Excuse me, please don't take this personally, but something just ain't right about brothers sitting around talking about another black man like a bunch of bitches. Yeah, that's what I said… a bunch of bitches talking about.. HE SAID, SHE SAID. C'mon y'all, there's no other way to define this punk-ass shit… "Spike said he said" "I think people are starting to tire of Spike's act" "No girl, Spike said he said"… "No girl, Cliffton said Spike said"… "He's so undeniably bougie and capitalistic".. "All you bitches are wrong… Spike should've, and then he woulda"… "He espouses male, middle-class, privileged values in his work and with his mouth"… "Honey please, if Spike woulda… and then he coulda"… "He choses to diss Perry in public" "Bitch, you crazy, I would have told that black muthafuker to kiss the pink part of my asshole"

WHAT!!!??

I can't believe y'all? How in the fu*k did you allow yourselves to be lead down this pitiful ass road? Hey, if the shoe doesn't fit… don't get mad at me, but some of you need a good pimp slappin'.

Dankwa Brooks

I don't get the pile on of Spike. The man was asked a question and he answered it. I applaud him for that. People can be so phoney (especially in entertainment) as to not piss off a possible collaborator that they "punk out" when asked to give an honest opinion. He DID NOT say DJango was a bad movie he just said he refused to see it because it was disrespectful TO HIM. Why does he need to see a film, like many claim ge should, that he finds personally disrespectful?

Dankwa Brooks

Ok. All of this by

LOVESFILMNMUSIC | JANUARY 17, 2013 8:50 PM

I started my day trying to quell the vitriol spewed by a friend and fellow filmmaker when he posted Luke's response. It seems as if our collective Stockholm Syndrome is rearing its ugly head. I mean does Luke even know what an Uncle Tom is? I think not based on his waste of digital print. People are indeed projecting their personal disappointment with Spike's opinion (or lack thereof) onto his body of work. Why should be Spike be jealous Tyler Perry or QT? He may be bitter that they are afforded marketing and distribution opportunities but that does not mean he is jealous. Despite me personally not being a fan of his last few works his body of work as a whole still stands the test of time. We certainly can not even have a discussion of black film without him. Are people really afraid of some backlash from white folks since he is so outspoken on our behalf? We are ALL entitled to opinions, regardless of economic standing and film catalogue. Spike is not the enemy.

And this too

ME | JANUARY 17, 2013 9:19 PM

Tired of his "act"? When Spike gives an opinion, it hardly quantifies as an "act". He has been openly HONEST from day one. If you don't want hear HIS truth, don't ask. Funny how Black people didn't have a problem with him being vocal when he challenged the unions to hire more persons of color. Funny how Black people didn't have a problem with him giving actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Halle Berry, and Mekhi Phifer their first real "shine" in this business. Funny how Black didn't have a problem with him when he was often the LONE voice speaking on the inequalities in the industry, because established artists were either scared…or didn't want to jeopardize their "position". I'm more offended by the "short term memory" of those who have benefitted from his efforts, than any attacks on his character….or the runaway success of a cartoonish B MOVIE about slavery.

Charles Judson

One of the issues is that Spike is not a 20-something wunderkind anymore. He definitely supports a lot of up and coming filmmakers and has done so since he fought to get more of his crew onto his shoots since SCHOOL DAZE and especially DO THE RIGHT THING, so they could get into the unions and actually get their careers going. His aggressiveness, as Donnie calls it, was welcomed.

However, there is something to be questioned when Spike, who has always had solid distribution up until RED HOOK SUMMER, has produced over 35 films, is a distinguished and well respected instructor, has had a successful career directing commercials, still at times acts like he's a young brash outsider.

It's interesting on the same day to read this and the story on Robert Redford exclaiming that there are too many film festivals and that Sundance is the only true festival championing independent film. In both cases you have industry veterans who want to claim, or wrap themselves up in a mantle that is no longer a snug fit.

It becomes increasingly difficult to be the Angry Young Man knocking down doors after a few decades. At some point, there are no more doors to knock down. Redford and Lee have track records that very few filmmakers will ever see in their lifetimes. Both have legacies that are intact.

That doesn't negate their points, it doesn't erase that they both actively support filmmakers and rarely told stories in their own ways, however it does blunt their resonance and relevance.

Spike's anger and drive in getting some of his earlier films made felt of the times and a lot of us identified with that. The subjects he tackled in just his first three films alone is epic and rivals the audacity of almost any other filmmaker you can name. UPLIFT THE RACE and DO THE RIGHT THING paperbacks alone have now inspired two generations of filmmakers. Of the 1980s, Spike is among an elite few that came out of that decade still standing and still can command a platform based on their comments alone.

However, when DJANGO UNCHAINED is still something that draws all of our attention, even Spike's, and is something we actively mull over for weeks and months. While no one asks which black creators could score $300 million in financing like Matt Parker and Trey Stone, or has the best shot at doing that in the next 15 years. It begins to feel like we're collectively 20 years out of sync.

The issues with financing–which has continuously hampered Spike's own projects–have way more impact on black film, especially the long term health of black film, than letting the question of Tarantino's treatment of slavery, or Spike's response to a question, predominate so much of the space. If he did, or didn't, still doesn't get a black film funded or distributed or noticed. Which is more of an US problem than a Spike problem.

If Spike Lee of 1985 was starting out in 2013, he could likely get SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT made and even take it to to Cannes again. It doesn't mean it would still make $7 million. That type of distribution, that level of exhibition is extinct. Tell me how you'd create a new strategy to do what Spike did in 1986 in 2013 and you got me. Tell me how successful he was and not is, I'm likely tuning out.

It's great to champion Spike's career, but if we can't acknowledge that, taking race out of it, the goal posts have long since moved and that Spike as an inspiration is still of merit, but Spike's, and Jim Jarmusch's, career path is outdated. Then the ad hominem attacks are not just problematic, they're beyond useless. So you disagree with Spike. And? However, on the flipside, the supportive comments that vehemently defend and remind us of Spike's impact are often just as useless. There's nothing really to debate there. Oscar nominated. Well respected instructor, who at this point has hundreds of students he's worked with. With a few finally starting to see the success that eluded so many of them. Dozens of actors who owe part of their career success to being in in a Spike Lee Joint. What's to argue about?

The film world keeps moving and changing, which doors we have to knock down, has to change with it. And we still got ALOT of doors to knock down. Taking pot shots at Spike Lee doesn't do us any objective good, nor does being stuck in the 1990s and reminding us of what was.

funmike

Didn't Spike make Bamboozled? I don't understand how he gets to disrespect anyone's portrayal of the African American experience.

getthesenets

There's a greenlight for going in on Spike. Newspapers allow Op-Eds from people who otherwise wouldn't be given a public voice to go in. Youtube clips going in on spike get lots of hits,etc. Blogs , magazines,etc.

No greenlight or any kind of coverage given to those who have criticism of Weinstein Co. for licensed action figures, to QT for feeling free to use certain language publicly, even on S&A

and no greenlightor for those who frankly didn't think that Django was a good film.

Either pop cultual gatekeepers or fear of reprisal/ blackballing keeps one "side" of the criticism active and visible and the other side conspicuously SILENT .

I have repect for Dick Gregory, but I disagree with a few of the points(and exagerrations) he made. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he's talking out of his butt. This being the internet and all, only a matter of time before some of his past comments come back and bite him in his butt regarding some of his comments about the film,slavery, and Spike.

For example..in the following article and video for PETA from 1998, Dick Gregory talks out of his butt when he makes a comparison between the treatment of circus ANIMALS to SLAVERY.

http://www.peta.org/living/animal-friendly-fun/dick-gregory-circuses.aspx

http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/psas-animals-in-entertainment/292348201001.aspx

No

Spike Lee is one of American's best contemporary filmmakers. However, he has also set himself as as sort of police commissioner regard what is and isn't legitimate black filmmaking. While I don't particularly care for the kind of film that Tyler Perry makes, he has his own studio. Unfortunately, Lee is the sort of filmmaker that Perry ought to be collaborating with. Lee, however, choses to diss Perry in public. Lee tends to diss everyone in public and people are kind of getting tired of him. I would be more willing to listen to him if he weren't making such bad films like Miracle at St Anna or Red Hook Summer. He's spent so much time bad-mouthing other people and their work that it coming back around to bite him. Look, even Brian Grazer isn't working with him on the James Brown story. That may have nothing to do with his mouth, but I think the public is getting tired of him when he puts more energy into attacking people and their work than into his own films.

ME

Tired of his "act"? When Spike gives an opinion, it hardly quantifies as an "act". He has been openly HONEST from day one. If you don't want hear HIS truth, don't ask. Funny how Black people didn't have a problem with him being vocal when he challenged the unions to hire more persons of color. Funny how Black people didn't have a problem with him giving actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Halle Berry, and Mekhi Phifer their first real "shine" in this business. Funny how Black didn't have a problem with him when he was often the LONE voice speaking on the inequalities in the industry, because established artists were either scared…or didn't want to jeopardize their "position". I'm more offended by the "short term memory" of those who have benefitted from his efforts, than any attacks on his character….or the runaway success of a cartoonish B MOVIE about slavery.

M. Simmons

Ironic how in a conversation that was supposed to be about Spike Lee being called all of these names – people are resorting to such name-calling.

Jazzy said it best, "a Black consensus is not necessary in any way." We ought to be able to disagree about WHY people are treating Spike the way they are without people being attacked for their opinions.

So it only took around an hour for that to happen here – and we're surprised that it's also happening in the media!? smh.

saadiyah

I see a lot of the scathing comments are coming from the Uncle Tom stans of Tyler Perry. They said the Willie Lynch letter was fake, but the ideals sure as hell got ingrained in Black people.

Brandon Wilson

This is depressing. Spike Lee blaze a magnificent trail. Seeing Blacks, young & old, turn on him this way is unbelievable. This is why I'm a misanthrope. This is why I root for zombies.

Trevian

The bottom line is he is Spike Lee! When all you haters get some business or get busy, this won't be topic of conversation. Dick Gregory, Luther Campbell and all you other "brothers" slinging public spews should re-evaluate the principles you "say" you stand on. BROTHERHOOD BY ANY MEANS NECCESSARY.

Lovesfilmnmusic

I started my day trying to quell the vitriol spewed by a friend and fellow filmmaker when he posted Luke's response. It seems as if our collective Stockholm Syndrome is rearing its ugly head. I mean does Luke even know what an Uncle Tom is? I think not based on his waste of digital print. People are indeed projecting their personal disappointment with Spike's opinion (or lack thereof) onto his body of work. Why should be Spike be jealous Tyler Perry or QT? He may be bitter that they are afforded marketing and distribution opportunities but that does not mean he is jealous. Despite me personally not being a fan of his last few works his body of work as a whole still stands the test of time. We certainly can not even have a discussion of black film without him.
Are people really afraid of some backlash from white folks since he is so outspoken on our behalf?

We are ALL entitled to opinions, regardless of economic standing and film catalogue.

Spike is not the enemy.

donnadara

Oh and by the way, there are no Tarantino films preserved in the National Film Registry.

Jazzy

I haven't enjoyed a Spike Lee film in a long time, but I loved his biography and appreciate what he brought to the industry when he first came out and the first half of his career. I've always been intrigued by Spike Lee– so intense and adamant about Black this and Black that on one hand, but so undeniably bougie and capitalistic on the other hand, with his fawning over all things white-owned– from Nike shoes to the NBA. A walking contradiction or dimensional, highly complex person?

The thing with this whole Spike Lee/Django/Tarentino/everybody else beef is that those angry with Spike's comments have other issues with him outside of this PLUS they loved Django so much, so, they feel that Spike is condemning them when he condemns the movie.

I think all of these grown ass men need to get out of their feelings and be able to enjoy a movie or hate a movie without making it into a battle where someone has to be "right". I would beat my last nickel that most folks who liked Django liked it for different reasons– as did those who did not enjoy it– and a Black consensus is not necessary in any way.

donnadara

I think it's amazing to see so many black people go for Spike's neck to support Quentin Tarantino. And criticize his blackness to boot. It seems like since Spike Lee's popularity is somewhat diminished some people were waiting to have at him and see a good opportunity. Spike Lee's work is in the Library of Congress forever. Where is the work of all is his naysayers? Do you think anything of Tyler Perry's will be preserved in the Library of Congress? Spike will be a genuis filmmaker if he never makes another movie.

M. Simmons

Spike Lee is exactly that – a filmmaker. His movies have not stopped police profiling or kept blk men out of jail. They have not reversed the new Jim Crow or provided equal funding for our children's schools. His movies are not without their own misogynistic and questionable content. He is not a spoke person for black people, nor is he some kind of cultural savior for making *some* good black movies.

So I don't understand why it's such a "thing" that people are criticizing him. Especially when he is known for speaking publicly against other people in the industry. He has called other people names, and again i don;t condone it, but that is what he is getting right back.

Karl

I think Spike Lee is entitled to his opinion and I don't attack him. I do think, unfairly or not, that it's a matter of image perception with Mr. Lee. I am someone who was in high school and faithfully saw his movies with every release, more than twice in some cases ('School Daze'). That was a much more visceral time for Black studies in the academic world and people kind of digesting the change that had come along in the generation since the Watts Riots, MLK's assassination, etc. There really was no one of Spike Lee's age on the indie scene and then the major studios doing what he did. He polarized his audiences.

In the generation that has passed since his late 1980s mainstream debut, our society is different, our kids are different. Not saying that's bad, just a fact. The town I lived in in the 1980s down South now has black families in the McDonald's on Main Street, whereas me and my little brother used to be the only Blacks for literal miles. The siren call of his films is meeting a different sensibility.

And then there's perception: what do you see when you see Spike Lee these days? A somewhat pissy, grumpy brother who gets a rise out of people with money quotes and vents without the further elaboration you mention. He can pontificate on sports more than any real artistic argument these days. I work in the media too and you know that it's not necessarily a reporter's job to ask Spike Lee to 'further elaborate.' People of his stature in the industry can elaborate to their heart's content and never get cut off. Spike said all he had to say and when he does, he has to be ready for the chaos in this era of instant news and the social discourse therein.

The question I'd want to ask is what many people, including Samuel Jackson, have brought up which is: why could a Black director not make 'Django Unchained'? It seems unanimous that a studio would never greenlight such a project for a Black director. That has to sting not just Spike Lee but anyone else who has toiled in this business and realizes, years later, that some of these disparities and inequal opportunities aren't going to change in our lifetime or career. That's what burns my ass. So, I don't know what Spike can say except to keep on talking. Today, if you don't talk, someone else tells your story – and that goes for us all, in my modest opinion.

Donnie Leapheart

Spike Lee is arguably the greatest and most prolific black filmmaker of all time. We need Spike and his aggressive personality. He started the black cinema wave of the 80s and 90s. He inspired two generations of black filmmakers. At this point, he's earned the right to say whatever he wants about anything he wants. These same black folks would be telling Malcolm X to "sit down somewhere" back in the day. The same things I hear Spike say is the same things I hear most indie black filmmakers say, the difference: Nobody is paying attention to them like Spike.

Sankofabbw

I will no longer support Spike, although he is extremely talented and I've enjoyed his movies, the buck stopped with his Tyler Perry comments! I personally feel his ego got the best of him! I agree with Dick Gregory on his point regarding the movie She's Gotta Have It! And I didn't expect anything more from Spike regarding Django! I mean how can you judge a movie without seeing it first! My momma always said " Never judge a book by it's cover, open it up and read it a little before you make a comment"!

KBJr.

Let's be honest, everything else aside, Spike hasn't exactly endeared himself to much of anyone. I've enjoyed several of his films ('Malcolm X' and 'He Got Game' specifically), but his outward disposition as a person can be very offsetting. When you make it hard to like you, people often don't even bother to try (or spend their money to watch your movie). And when you go after other filmmakers (and actors) who ARE liked, it makes you look like a grump. I know Spike could care less, but perhaps he should get an image consultant.

Man-Over-Bored

Perhaps you and Antoine Fuqua need to have a sit-down, Tambay. Seems, despite comments by Spike, Dick, Luke or Clifton, your biggest problem is with him.

slb

I think people are starting to tire of Spike's act. I love many of his movies and agree with many of his points (like those about Minstrel Perry), but when he gets up in arms about every movie out there that has (or does not have) Black folks in it, people start to tune out. At this point, people are feeling emboldened to tell him to shut up because his movies of late are not good NOR are they making any money. So it's like, "From what point are you coming from when your movies are not making any money and they are really bad." Also, I know the media picks and chooses his quotes/comments and takes them out of context for the sake of generating interest in their story, but when was the last time he praised other films? I'm not being facetious. I truly do not know. Maybe if he praised movies as much as he ridiculed them, people would be more receptive to his points.

M. Simmons

The attacks on Spike Lee do not surprise me. I do not condone the name-calling, but Spike Lee really is getting back what he has dished out on several occasions. When you stand up and give your opinion about another person's work in the public sphere – you should expect to be challenged by those who disagree or support the person you are criticizing. They should have just as much right to do it in the public sphere as well.

Jon

Handle WHAT privately when HE WAS ASKED A QUESTION?! He dismissed his opinion on the film and said he personally wouldn't go see it. Cats like Luke and Dick Gregory talk like Massa's watchful eyes are still on them. What's wrong with having an opinion? Why Spike has to be a "schemin Uncle Tom" and a "thug" or "punk" for saying that he wouldn't spend his $ on a movie like "Django"? It's not like Spike called the local news outlet and went on a rant about "Django", he was asked about it. This is being overblown and is just another excuse to rehash Spike's public spat with QT in the past and get folks to turn away from his work.

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