Clint Eastwood doesn’t mince words about his opinion concerning Spike Lee’s criticisms of Eastwood films like “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Bird.” Lee has repeatedly called Eastwood on the carpet for his racial politics in those movies. Well, Eastwood has offered Lee quite the definitive comeback: “A guy like him should shut his face.”
The Guardian via Defamer.com:
Eastwood has no time for Lee’s gripes. “He was complaining when I did Bird [the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker]. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that’s why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else.” As for Flags of Our Fathers, he says, yes, there was a small detachment of black troops on Iwo Jima as a part of a munitions company, “but they didn’t raise the flag. The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn’t do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people’d go, ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate.”
Lee shouldn’t be demanding African-Americans in Eastwood’s next picture, either. Changeling is set in Los Angeles during the Depression, before the city’s make-up was changed by the large black influx. “What are you going to do, you gonna tell a fuckin’ story about that?” he growls. “Make it look like a commercial for an equal opportunity player? I’m not in that game. I’m playing it the way I read it historically, and that’s the way it is. When I do a picture and it’s 90% black, like Bird, I use 90% black people.”
Eastwood pauses, deliberately—once it would have provided him with the beat in which to spit out his cheroot before flinging back his poncho—and offers a last word of advice to the most influential black director in American movies. “A guy like him should shut his face.”
Whoa, now: Clint Eastwood (pictured) had a few things to say to fellow filmmaker Spike Lee in a recent interview from Cannes.