(NEW YORK) — The often outspoken director Spike Lee has decided to stay tight-lipped about Boots Riley’s BlacKkKlansman criticism, saying he’s done with celebrity and filmmaker beef.
Earlier this week, the Sorry to Bother You director issued a three-page critique of the film, calling out Lee for putting out a “made-up story,” and turning Stallworth into a “protagonist” when he was not. Riley’s issue has to do with the fact that Stallworth, in addition to infiltrating the KKK, also infiltrated the Black Panthers.
According to Spike, he’s not interested in participating in a war of words that will likely take away from his film and its purpose.
“I’m a young chap, a young man aged 61, but before I was an even younger chap. 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 said to Entertainment Weekly.
Speaking specifically about Riley’s criticism, Lee continued, “Well, I’m not going to comment on that. 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 color. I’m not going to say that. I mean, we need police.”
Lee also expressed he’s aware of others criticism about his strong narratives.
“Unfortunately, police in a lot of instances have not upheld the law; they have broken the law,” he said. “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?’”
BlacKkKlansman, which stars John David Washington, Laura Harrier and Corey Hawkins is in theaters now.
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