Spike Lee Calls Trump A “Motherf**ker” At ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Cannes’ Premiere
Spike Lee delivered a blistering attack against Donald Trump at Cannes, refusing to mention him by name while saying he shirked his moral duty.
Public opinion about Spike Lee after premiering his new film, BlacKkKlansman, has been all positive, but it is his refusal to acknowledge Donald Trump is what is making headlines. The Brooklyn-bred filmmaker refused to mention Trump by name during a press conference alongside the stars of BlacKkKlansman, which premiered to a standing ovation in Cannes on Monday night.
“That motherf**ker was given a chance to say we are about love, and not hate, and that motherf**ker did not denounce the motherf**king Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazi motherf**kers,” he said, denouncing Trump for not taking a firm stance in the wake of violence that erupted following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, leaving three people dead.
“It was a defining moment, and he could’ve said to the world…that we were better than that.”
Ultimately, Trump has shown himself to be on the wrong side of history, as he has rolled back Obama initiatives, failed to institute a plan of action to reform gun control, private prisons, or drug laws for marijuana “offenders.”
LeeThe transcript of Lee’s passionate, five-minute monologue has been released. See below to read what he had to say about Trump’s actions that left even the 61-year-old filmmaker beside himself:
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.
BlacKkKlansman is being described as a “major comeback” for Lee, as the story is based on real-life events involving a black police detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. “As much a compelling black empowerment story as it is an electrifying commentary on the problems of African American representation across more than a century of cinema,” Variety wrote about the film. “Our job as filmmakers and storytellers [is] to connect this period piece to the present day,” Lee said. “What’s happening did not just pop up out of thin air.” Lee, horrified by the Charlottesville violence as it unfolded on CNN, recognized that the footage “had to be my coda for the film.”
He got permission from the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a man drove a Dodge Charger into a crowd of protesters, to use footage of her death in the movie. “I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing,” he said. BlackKkKlansman will head to theaters on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riots, which Lee described as an “ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America.” Peppered with disses at Trump (in the trailer, one KKK member talks about embracing an “America First” policy) — there hasn’t been a response from Trump just yet.