Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Spike Responds To Eastwood!

Incase you haven't been following the war of words between Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood (if you've been reading this blog in recent days, you should be aware), here's a quick recap:

First, about 2 weeks ago during an interview at the Cannes Film Festival, Spike said, in reference to Eastwood, "He did two films about Iwo Jima back to back and there was not one black soldier in both of those films... Many veterans, African-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist."

Then yesterday, Friday, during an interview with the UK Guardian, Eastwood responded to Spike's comments with something Dirty Harry would probably say, stating quite simply, "
A guy like him should shut his face," while claiming that Spike's lament would call for "historical revisionism," amongst other things, which is nonsense!

Now, today, MTV Movies got an exclusive with Spike Lee, specifically asking him to respond to Eastwood's suggestion that he "shut his face," and here's what he said,
I'm going to take the Obama high road... It’s not a feud... I’ve said my statement. I have no ill will towards Mr. Eastwood. What I said to him was not a personal attack, it was an observation... So that’s really the end of it.

Good call Spike! I'm with you all the way. Now just don't screw up the "St Anna" movie!


  1. Aaron & Alaine said...

    I appreciate the way in which Spike responded to Eastwood's response. Race is always a prickly and uncomfortable topic which Americans have a great problem talking about in any reasoned way. So I'm not surprised that Eastwood's response was very defensive and sort of funky in tone. Spike's comment was that the films did not depict or show any black soldiers, an objective fact. I have not been able to obtain a full set of his comments. He appears to have made some substantive rebuttal, but the snarky "a guy like him" and "shut your face" and the suggestion that Spike was demanding "revisionist" history is where he goes off the track.

    I'm glad that Spike chose to respond with a certain amount of maturity and at a minimum it certainly spurs a person to want to investigate the objective facts about Iwo Jima and the role of black soldiers. Spike's comment was that Clint found no opportunity to include blacks in his Iwo Jima story, leaving an impression that they were not there at all, which by his own words, was not true. No one likes to be left out of history as though we were invisible.

    I'm black. I like Clint, I like his movies and Spike's comments don't diminish that, but I think Spike does offer a valid criticism of the films. Doesn't mean Clint is a racist, or the films are racist or people who like them are racist. Just means that in this particular, they have a deficiency that could have been handled differently.

  2. albertine said...

    I like Spike's follow-up comment. It shows a maturity on his part that may not have been there years back. I think Eastwood's reaction, "shut his face" "revisionist history" yadi-yadi-yah, were knee-jerk, and he should have thought about what Spike said a little longer before responding. But something tells me he'll remember this entire incident for future projects.

  3. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    A dweebie 40something black guy and a septuagenarian white guy... Fair match.

    Fight, fight, fight!!!

    OK, I'm in a silly mood. On a more serious note, ditto what aaron & alaine said. Um, do they type alternate words each? aaron with the left hand, alaine with the right?

  4. The Obenson Report said...

    @ A&A - Well said. I think your post echoes the thoughts of many others.

    @ albertine - I think Spike made his point and I think Eastwood will indeed remember this for future projects.

    @ Wendy - looks like the "Fight" has come to an end, unless Eastwood retaliates with something else.

Post a Comment