Spike Lee Responds To Boots Riley's "BlacKkKlansman" Critique
BlacKkKlansman is one of the year’s best films. The Spike Lee Joint tells the real-life story of Ron Stallworth, a police officer who helped stop the KKK’s plan to attack Black people in Colorado in the 70’s. Stallworth uses a “white voice” to trick KKK leader David Duke into believing he is Caucasian, and infiltrates the hate group through several phone calls while Flip (played by Adam Driver) acts as him in personal meetings with the Klan.
Boots Riley also dropped a politically charged film this Summer that uses “white voice” as a main plot device. Riley infamously took to Twitter to release a scathing review of BlacKkKlansman, where he claims Lee took money from the police for the film. He also claims the story of Stallworth is false, and stated the author who wrote the book that the movie is based on was an informant for COINTELPRO. The FBI led program is infamous for having a hand in the destruction of the Black Panthers. Riley also didn’t like Lee painting police in a positive light in the film, writing that the movie was “a made up story in which the false parts of it try to make a cop the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression.”
Spike Lee was asked about Riley’s comments by the UK based outlet The Times, and he had very little to say about his peer. Via an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter, Lee told The Times, ” I’m a young chap, a young man aged 61, but before I was even a 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.” When pressed about his alleged connection to the police, Lee stated, “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.”
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