news 1 week ago

Spike Lee: ‘Confederate Statues Need to Come the F— Down’

Variety — J. Kim Murphy

In an interview on a new episode of Luminary’s Black List Podcast, hosted by Black List co-founder Franklin Leonard and Black List community director Kate Hagen, Spike Lee voices his agreement with growing calls to remove statues and iconography commemorating the Confederate States of America.

“F— that flag,” Lee said. “That flag, to me, [makes me feel] the same way my Jewish brothers and sisters feel about the swastika… And them motherf—ing Confederate statues need to come the f— down.”

The topic came up amid a larger discussion about Lee’s body of work, touching upon the opening of the writer-director’s 2018 film “BlacKkKlansman,” which opens by sampling a shot from “Gone with the Wind” that features a tattered Confederate flag before seguing into a speech by a white supremacist played by Alec Baldwin.

As Black Lives Matter protests continue in the United States following the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and countless other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, use of Confederate iconography is being reexamined. Some statues of racist historical figures have been removed across the country.

Lee touched on the larger Black Lives Matter movement in the interview during a conversation about his film “Do the Right Thing,” which turns 31 years old in July and climaxes with a riot following the murder of a Black man by a police officer.

“It’s like the film was made yesterday,” Lee said. “So, there are two ways to think about it. That it’s still unique. It’s still new. And then also, Black people are still being murdered [and] dying. If you’ve seen ‘Do the Right Thing,’ how can you not automatically think of Eric Garner, and then king George Floyd?”

“It’s never been about how [Black people] respond to it,” Lee continued. “It’s been about how our white sisters and brothers respond to it. And have you been watching CNN like I have? People are marching all over God’s Earth chanting, yelling [and] screaming ‘Black lives matter,’ and they’re not Black… That’s the big difference. You see a young generation of my white brothers and sisters [and] they are out there in full effect. I mean, forget about the rest of the world for a second. White folks are marching in Salt Lake City [and] Des Moines, Iowa, where there ain’t no Black folks for a minute.”

The full interview will be released tomorrow.

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