Spike Lee slams Trump in expletive-laced monologue at movie premiere

Lee on Tuesday went on a tirade at Cannes, criticizing President Donald Trump - whom he didn't name directly, AP says - of not going far enough to denounce the alt-right following the Charlottesville violence.

He called the Charlottesville incident an "ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on America" and excoriated Mr. Trump for his response, in which the president declined to condemn white supremacists and instead put the blame on "both sides." It was a defining moment, and he could have said to the world, not just the United States, that we were better than that.

Lee's latest film was greeted with a standing ovation at the festival. It is the true-life tale of African-American police detective Ron Stallworth, played in the film by John David Washington. Initially making contact by phone, Stallworth sends white Jewish partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) in his place to a succession of meetings with klansmen Walter (Ryan Egghold), Felix (Jasper Paakkonen) and Ivanhoe (Paul Walter Hauser), with Ron rising in the KKK's ranks until he's a trusted confidante of grand wizard David Duke (Topher Grace).

After Lee finished production on "BlacKkKlansman", he added an ending with actual footage from Charlottesville and Trump's televised response. The film concludes with the image of an upside-down black-and-white American flag. Stallworth, when told that his voice sounds different upon pitching up for his first face-to face, replies in a flustered tone, "I have a cold" - an excuse that, Lee assures us, really was given and really did suffice.

Lee said he reached out to Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, and received her permission to include footage of her daughter being run down by a white supremacist in a auto. I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing.

Lee called Charlottesville an "ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on America", but he also repeatedly stressed to the global Cannes media that the racism depicted in BlacKkKlansman isn't unique to the US. It's all over the world.

"That mother**ker was given the chance to say we are about love, not hate".

The Ku Klux Klan membership identification card awarded Ron Stallworth, a black Colorado Springs Police detective, upon his acceptance into the white supremacist hate group in January 1979.

He bounced into the premiere at the Palais announcing: "Brooklyn's in the house!"

During the BlacKkKlansman press conference, Lee also discussed the rise of Right-wing nationalism and called on all people to speak up. 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. "We're on the right side of history with this film".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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