Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

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

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

Director Spike Lee minced no words during a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival when talking about US President Donald Trump's response to the neo-Nazi "Unite the Right" rally last August and the violent clashes with anti-fascist protesters that left one woman dead.

Spike Lee's satirical movie about the Ku Klux Klan may be set in the 1970s, but it is really about the deadly racism that is still prevalent in the United States, the director said on Tuesday in Cannes.

"We have a guy in the White House - I'm not gonna say his f**king name - who defined that moment not just for Americans but the world", said Lee.

"It was a defining moment and he could have said to the United States and the world that we're better than that", said Lee.

Director Spike Lee poses for photographers during a photo call for the film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st global film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department's rank and file.

Lee spoke for around five minutes after being asked about including real footage of the infamous Charlottesville riot, including video of a white supremacist driving his auto into people and killing counter protester Heather Heyer.

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Having already wrapped the film, Lee added the Charlottesville coda after the unrest last summer.

"I was not going to put that murder scene in the film without her blessing", said Lee.

"Right away, I knew that this had to be the coda for the film, but I had to do something first".

"The so-called American cradle of democracy, that's bulls-", he said.

"We look to our leaders". The United States of America was built on the genocide of native people and slavery. "And we have to wake up", said Lee. As my Brooklyn brother Jay-Z would say, facts. We can't be silent. It's everybody. We all live on this planet, and this guy in the White House has the nuclear code.

"I told my agents I wanted to be in contention for that part and everyone went, 'Huh?'" the actor told Vulture.

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