Clint Eastwood didn’t get old and all wrinkly and such by taking crap from people, especially midget filmmakers obsessed with basketball. He got to be where he is by kicking ass and ignoring names. As you’ll recall, bothersome filmmaker Spike Lee called out Eastwood and the Coens during a recent trip to Cannes, but especially Eastwood for not including black actors in his World War II movies “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”. The Coens have kept mum on Lee’s accusation regarding their use of violence, but Eastwood has finally spoken up about it.
Eastwood spills it to the Guardian:
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.”
And this is my favorite part:
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.”
Spike Lee should have realized by now — you don’t mess with Dirty Harry. Any other director would have kept mum — imagine arguing with a black director on the issue of race. Talk about a rigged argument! And I suspect Spike Lee knows it, that’s why he’s so quick to shoot off at the mouth by taking people to task on race issues.