Spike Lee Turns on Obama's Gun Control Plea: "He Hasn't Talked About Chicago. At All"

The 'Chi-Raq' director-producer believes the president should be addressing Chicago's gun violence more: "I was glad he mentioned it, along with Sandy Hook and the other places. But Chicago is the homicide capital of America."
Spike Lee  Getty Images

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

When President Barack Obama tearfully delivered executive orders to curb gun violence on Jan. 5, citing “it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” Spike Lee applauded on Twitter, posting “Bravo Mr. President.”

But later that night, after a screening of his Chi-Raq, about gun violence in Chicago, the director changed course. “Let’s be honest, he hasn’t talked about Chicago. At all,” says Lee. “I was glad he mentioned it, along with Sandy Hook and the other places. But Chicago is the homicide capital of America.”

Asked which presidential candidate Lee hopes will continue Obama’s pledge to find a solution to the gun epidemic, he said it will take a coalition of people. “His initials aren’t D.T. Look, here’s the thing, Obama has been in office for eight years and there is the Congress, the NRA and gun manufacturers all trying to stop everything you do. The NRA, gun manufacturers and politicians are all on the take and in cahoots. That’s the way I see it.”

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