Spike Lee has responded to an in-depth critique of his latest film BlacKkKlansman by fellow director Boots Riley.
Raymond Lawrence Riley, better known by his stage name Boots Riley, questioned the politics built within Lee’s latest film.
Riley, who first admitted that Lee was a huge influence on his career, questioned the fictional story of BlacKkKlansman and, more specifically, the part in which the police are made out to be heroes in the battle against racism.
“After 40 years of cop shows and cop movies, did we really need one more movie where it’s supposed to be about racism but the cops are the actual heroes of the film and the most effective force against racism?” Riley said on social media before adding essay notes.
Now, Lee has responded to that critique. Having initially stated “I’m not going to comment on that” when asked, Lee unloaded his response in a new interview with The Times. “Look at my films: they’ve been very critical of the police, but on the other hand I’m never going to say all police are corrupt, that all police hate people of colour,” Lee said. “I’m not going to say that. I mean, we need police. Unfortunately, police in a lot of instances have not upheld the law; they have broken the law. But I’d also like to say, sir, that black people are not a monolithic group. I have had black people say, ‘How can a bourgeois person like Spike Lee do Malcolm X?
“Now when I get a hint that this stuff is maybe going to dilute the message of my film, I know it is not going to do me any good to comment,” he added.
The film, which is about an African-American cop who goes undercover in the KKK, focuses on focuses on Ron Stallworth – played by John David Washington – who worked as a police officer in the early ’70s.
The fact-based race drama, produced by Jordan Peele and the team behind his hit 2017 film Get Out, also stars Adam Driver playing the role of Stallworth’s colleague Flip Zimmerman along with stars Laura Harrier and Topher Grace.