Kickstarter Defends Spike Lee's Campaign: 'This Isn't Charity'

10:13 PM PST 08/19/2013 by Aaron Couch
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Spike Lee

The site says the director's success brings new blood to the crowdfunding platform.

Kickstarter is coming to the defense of its most recent A-list user, Spike Lee.

Last wee the director reached his $1.25 million goal for his next film amid criticism that his Kickstarter project would hinder up-and-coming filmmakers who really need the funding.

Not so, said Kickstarter in a blog post Monday. The site said what's good for Lee's project is good for all projects, because it brings new blood into the Kickstarter ecosystem.

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"Spike Lee brought three decades of fans to Kickstarter when he launched his project. He introduced many of them to this new way of funding creative works, and to the thousands of other projects that are funding on Kickstarter," reads the post, titled "The Truth About Spike Lee and Kickstarter."

According to the post, 47 percent of Lee's backers had never donated to a Kickstarter project before. The Kickstarter team also also rebuffed accusations that this was an example of the site acting as charity for the wealthy.

"This isn’t charity. It’s a direct exchange between an artist and a willing audience, similar to the model Mozart and others used to fund works centuries ago," the post reads.

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Last month, Lee himself defended his project.

"It's a misconception and it's plain-out wrong with a capital W that because [a donor] backs my film for $5, that was $5 that a young filmmaker was gonna get. And that logic does not follow through," Lee said in a YouTube video.

Lee is the latest in a string of high-profile artists turning to Kickstarter. Zach Braff raised $3.1 million in May for his next directorial effort, Wish I Was Here, and Rob Thomas raised $5.7 million for a Veronica Mars movie before that.

Lee's project, which accepts pledges until 12:15 p.m. ET Wednesday, currently has more than $1.3 million. Kickstarter takes five percent of all funds raised.

Lee's next film, Oldboy, hits theaters Oct. 25 via FilmDistrict.

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