Liberal director Spike Lee took advantage of an interview on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 to promote his new movie, BlacKkKlansman, which the filmmaker claimed is “not just a history lesson” even though it takes place during the 1970s.
As you might expect, it didn’t take long for the discussion to degenerate into attacks on President Donald Trump, whose “toxic” comments and acts have led Lee to refer to him as “Agent Orange,” a man who is leading “a rise to the right” not just in America, but around the world as well.
Lee also claimed “the guy we’ve got in the White House” is not using a dog whistle, but instead promoting racism with the vocal equivalent of “a bullhorn.”
The interview began with Lee describing his new movie as “based on a true story” that follows the life of an African-American Colorado Springs police detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan more than 40 years ago.
The guest also told Cooper that he had never heard this story before he received “out of the dim, blue sky” a pitch he described as “Black Man Infiltrates KKK.”
The director then stated:
With my co-writer Kevin Willmott, we did not want this to just be a history lesson, we want -- even though it takes place in the '70s, we still want to be contemporary.
So a lot of things, phrases, stuff like that, it was said way before the ‘70s where they were saying then and now you hear them today. And the lexicon of politics and guys in office.
Cooper responded by noting: "[O]ne of the things that is so startling about the film is, you know, we like to think about we've evolved and things change, and, you know, I mean, this doesn't go away.”
Lee agreed: “I've been on this show many years, you know, talking about the same thing.”
Referring to Trump, the liberal activist asserted: “[H]ere's the thing for me: The President of the United States had a chance, Anderson, to denounce hate. Hate groups. The whole world saw what happened, and he didn't do it.”
“Did it surprise even you?” Cooper asked, “I mean…you've done so many films about race and race in America; did that even surprise you, though? How blatant it was?”
“No,” Lee replied. “You know why? Because this guy we've got in the White House is not even a dog whistle, it's a bullhorn. And then, also, Anderson, we've seen a rise to the right. It's not just America, it's worldwide. So this thing has happened worldwide.”
Later, Cooper asked if he would want to have a "sit down with Donald Trump," but Lee immediately shut that down and chided Cooper for using his name and not calling Trump "Agent Orange."
“Do you consider him your President?” the host asked to no one’s surprise and, similarly to no one's surprise, Lee said "no."
As NewsBusters previously reported, Lee also turned his showing of the movie at the Cannes Film Festival in mid-May as a vehicle to slam Trump, whose response to the Charlottesville violence blaming both sides in the incident as “an ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America.”