Clint Eastwood fired back at Spike Lee who earlier criticized Clint for not including black soldiers in Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima, telling the Malcolm X director to “shut his face.” At a press conference at Cannes to promote his own war film, Maracle at St. Anna, Spike commented:
“Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen,” Lee said. “If you reporters had any balls you’d ask him why. There’s no way I know why he did that … But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It’s not like he didn’t know.”
Apparently, one of those reporters had the balls because they asked Clint to which he responded.
“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.” Referring to Lee, he added: “A guy like him should shut his face.”
If you think Clint will stop there, think again.
Defending the racial make-up in his films as historically accurate, Eastwood referred to another of his films, Changeling, which was set in Los Angeles before the city had a large group of African-Americans. “What are you going to do, you going to tell a fuckin’ story about that?” he said. “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 movie and it’s 90% black, like Bird, then I use 90% black people.
“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.”
Based on this evidence, Spike Lee has a good chance of being shot if he ever steps onto Clint Eastwood’s property and it won’t be because he’s black, as he’ll most likely claim, it’ll be because he’s annoying. Oh, hold on a second. I just received a special message from Clint which he wants me to relay to Spike. Clint has cordially invited you to lunch to discuss this issue in depth. Be there at 2 a.m. sharp and bring no witnesses. Er, I mean RSVP. Heh heh heh.
[Clint Eastwood arriving for The Spirit of Independence Awards which he won. Image via Splash News]