Spike Lee Wants Twitter to Calm Down About Daniel Scheinert Calling ‘Malcolm X’ a ‘Crime Movie’

"I'm calling on Black Twitter to give the guy a break – because when Black Twitter gets on your ass, they get on your ass."
"Malcolm X"
"Malcolm X"

Spike Lee is calling a ceasefire to the backlash following “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-director Daniel Scheinert calling Lee’s biopic “Malcolm X” a “crime movie.”

During a Criterion Collection’s “Closet Picks” video, Scheinert called “Malcolm X” a “riveting crime saga,” adding, “Maybe my favorite crime movie? It just blew my mind when I first saw it like a year ago.”

Fans have since taken to social media to diss Scheinert’s praise of the true story of civil rights activist Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) and the events leading up to his assassination. Director Lee reacted to the controversy in a new interview.

“I’d never heard that description before,” Lee told The Guardian of “Malcolm X” being classified in the crime genre by fans. “But look, I’m not going to kill the guy. I’ve misspoken many times in my life, too.”

The “Do the Right Thing” auteur added, “So I’m calling on Black Twitter to give the guy a break – because when Black Twitter gets on your ass, they get on your ass.”

Lee mused on his own film, “‘Malcolm X’ will stand the test of time. And that performance by Denzel still amazes me. It’s one of the greatest I’ve ever seen.”

While “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads the 2023 Oscar nominations, Lee weighed in on the snubs for “Till” filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu and star Danielle Deadwyler, as well as Viola Davis’ role in “The Woman King.”

“You know, I’ve really got nothing to say about it,” Lee said. “I’m happy Angela Bassett got nominated. I’m happy Ruth Carter – who for a long time was my costume designer – got nominated. It gets tricky when you get these award things. And the Academy has a history with… The Academy has a history, let’s leave it at that. But the whole #OscarsSoWhite hashtag definitely made an impact. The Academy, to their credit, made changes to bring diversity to the voting body.”

Lee concluded, “Because I’ve never tried to position myself as speaking for 45 million African Americans. I always say, ‘This is my opinion.’ Fairly early on, my late mother said: ‘Spike, we as Black people are not one monolithic group. We don’t look alike, talk alike, think alike. We’re very diverse, from many different backgrounds.’ And I took that to heart.”

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