An MSNBC appearance turned somewhat heated during an exchange between host Chris Hayes and famed film director Spike Lee after Hayes asked about criticism surrounding the "black-on-black crime" that is depicted in Lee's new movie, "Chi-Raq."
Movie director Spike Lee (AP)
The film, according to the Interactive Movie Database, is "a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago."
And, according to Hayes, there seems to be some controversy surrounding the subject matter.
"In the wake of the last two years of black lives matter protests, one of the things we hear all the time is black-on black-crime — 'You guys are protesting, because you know, a cop shot this young black man, but young black men kill young black men all the time,'" Hayes said. "And there’s a sense in which people feel like that is a disingenuous misdirection, on the part of some people, not everyone, obviously."
Lee, though, wasn't willing to give that criticism any credibility, doubling down by highlighting his past "body of work," including films like "Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X," among others.
"So, look at the body of work," he said. "I did not get off just a turnip truck."
But when Hayes stepped in to say that he wasn't personally accusing Lee of being disingenuous, the director snapped back by abruptly saying, "Let me finish" and led his next line of argumentation by calling Hayes "sir."
"Sir, it doesn’t matter to me what color or complexion that pulls the trigger. As an artist, I’m going to look at it, and look at both sides," Lee said. "There’s a specific scene where Samuel L. Jackson talks about it — where he’s in the middle, there’s a gang banger on one side and Chicago cop on other."
He said that a parent feels the same whether their child is murdered by a gang banger or by a police officer; in the end, the child is never coming back, which is a fact the family must contend with.
"Your child is dead and your child is never coming back to you forever and for the rest of your life, you are going to have a hole in your soul," he said. "So it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to get about — it doesn’t matter to me."
Watch the interaction below:
This isn't the first time in recent weeks that Lee has defended the film, as some critics spoke out against the trailer, claiming that it was inappropriate due to a use of comedy in dealing with the violence that has been perpetuated in Chicago.
Watch Lee defend the trailer below:
And see the "Chi-Raq" trailer for yourself:
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