Spike Lee let the choppa fly from Cannes, and it was aimed at the President of The United States, Donald Trump.
Spike’s highly anticipated film, BlacKkKlansmen had a gangbuster premiere last night (May 15). Based on some “fo real sh*t” the movie tells the story of a Black police officer (John David Washington) who successfully infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. After its showing, attendees showered Spike and the films cast with a 10-minute ovation.
Some attendees were brought to tears thanks to the film’s coda which was a documentary montage of the violent showdown between white supremacists and protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. The documentary ends with a dedication to Heather Heyer who was viciously run down and killed when a white supremacists drove his car into a group of protestors against white nationalism.
Today (May 15), during a press conference for the movie Lee spoke about the use of the footage and called the moment an “an ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America,” and also added “Heather should be alive now. It’s a murderous act.”
The film is slated to be released on the first anniversary of the Charlottesville protest. When Lee was asked about the use of the footage for the film’s coda he revealed he added it after the film’s completion and then proceeded to rip Donald Trump in a passionate 5-minute monologue that would make Samuel Jackson proud.
Read it in full below:
“Right away, I knew that this had to be the coda for the film, but I had to do something first. I was given Susan Bro’s phone number. She is the mother of Heather Heyer, who got murdered when that car came crashing down the street. I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing. Mrs. Bro said, ‘Spike, I give you permission to put that in.’ Once I got permission, I said, ‘Fuck everybody else, that motherfucking scene is staying in the motherfucking movie.’ Cuz that was a murder.
And we have a guy in the White House — I’m not gonna say his fucking name — who defined that moment not just for Americans but the world, and that motherfucker was given the chance to say we are about love, not hate. And that motherfucker did not denounce the motherfucking Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazis motherfuckers. It was a defining moment, and he could have said to the world, not just the United States, that we were better than that.
The so-called American cradle of democracy, that’s bullshit. The United States of America was built on the genocide of native people and slavery. That is the fabric of the United States of America. As my Brooklyn brother Jay-Z would say, facts. That scene had to go in.
We look to our leaders. They give us direction to make moral decisions. And I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bullshit has gone over the world. This right-wing bullshit is not just America, it is all over the world, and we have to wake up. We can’t be silent. It’s not a black, white, or brown [problem], it’s everybody. We all live on this planet, and this guy in the White House has the nuclear code. I go to bed thinking about it. I’ve seen the “football,” that attache case. My wife and I gave a benefit for President Obama in the second term, and I saw the attache case in the car. That is not science fiction, that shit is real. And that motherfucker has the nuclear code! They got the guy in North Korea, the other guy in Russia, what the fuck is going on?
So this film, to me, is a wake-up call because … stuff is happening, and it’s topsy-turvy and the fake has been trumpeted as the truth. That’s what this film is about. I know my heart, I don’t care what the critics say or anybody else, but we are on the right side of history with this film.
Please excuse me for some profane words but the shit that’s going on, it makes you want to curse. Thank you.”
Well said Spike, well said. Peep the trailer for BlacKkKlansman below.
Photo: Earl Gibson III / Getty