Spike Lee was recently invited to deliver the BAFTA’s David Lean lecture in London. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker took the time to talk about how “BlacKkKlansman” isn’t just an American story and why seeing more People of Color landing directing jobs, there’s still a lot of work that has to go before inclusivity is actually achieved.
“There are very few people [who look like me] in those rarefied positions, what I call the gatekeepers. These are people who decide what we’re making and what we’re not making. That’s the next battlefield,” said the director (via Screen Daily).
He continued, “We’re making films…but when are we going to get in the position where we have a vote [in what gets made]? Films are made by a green light committee, a group of people who sit in a room, they look at the budget, who’s in it, and they decide who’s directing it, who’s going to write it – and we [Black people] are not in that room.”
However, the director didn’t just talk about inclusivity. He talked about the prevalence of racism in the 21st century. Lee’s message is clear — racism isn’t just an American issue.
“I want audiences to understand that what you see in this film ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is not just a peculiarity of America, this stuff is global and it’s happening all over. If you study history, what’s happening today is from the same playbook of all fascists – where you blame somebody, whether it be blacks, Jews or those Mexicans,” he explained.
Lee has been in the spotlight quite a bit in 2018, thanks to “BlacKkKlansman” landing a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this spring. The film would eventually go on to be released in August, where it has earned over $85 million to date, worldwide, based on a $15 million budget. The film has also found itself in the awards conversation thanks to the strong box office showing and the critical reception.