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Spike Lee Says Hollywood Knows Nothing About Black People


It doesn’t take much to spark Spike Lee into a rant. Last night Lee premiered his latest film, Red Hook Summer, at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 and verbally skewered Hollywood because it “knows nothing about Black people.”

According to reports, the underwhelming screening left audience members discordant about the independent film while others simply walked out. But what set Lee off was the post-screening Q&A from the audience that sparked a series of rants defending his audacious film, which he says is the latest in his “chronicles of Brooklyn.”

At first, Lee advised audience members if they were to “go out and talk about it, please tell ‘em this is not a motherFawking sequel to Do the Right Thing, or Mookie’s Return.” Soon after came the provoke.

“You did it, you spent your own money, right,” famous audience member and film peer Chris Rock asked. “What would you have done differently if you’d actually gotten a bunch of studio money… Would you have blown up lots of s—?” As the audience laughed, Spike retaliated.

“We never went to the studios with this film. I told you! I TOLD YOU! … I bought a camera and said we’re gonna do this motherFawking film ourselves.”

Lee went on to explain why he opted to film independently as opposed to the traditional big studio route. “I didn’t need a motherFawking studio telling me something about [the neighborhood of] Red Hook! They know nothing about black people! Nothing! And they’re gonna give me notes about what a 13-year-old black boy and girl do in Red Hook? Fawk no!”

Spike recounted the 12 day filming schedule of his 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It and argued about the lack of support from Universal Studios to film the sequel to his film Inside Man. “We had to do it OURSELVES!,” Spike shouted.

At the end of the rant, Spike apologized. “Sorry for that motherFawking tirade.”


[Update] Video of Spike Lee’s rant has surfaced, see below (skip to 15:00 mark).