Spike Lee Lashes Out at Trump's "Inhumane" Migrant Caravan Rhetoric During Mexico Visit
In the wake of recent mass shootings, the filmmaker also called U.S. gun control policy "criminal."
Never one to hold back, writer-director Spike Lee, who presented his latest film BlacKkKlansman at the Los Cabos International Film Festival, unleashed another scathing attack on President Donald Trump on Saturday.
A staunch anti-Trumper, Lee refuses to call the president by his name, referring to him instead as "Agent Orange." At a news conference at the Mexican festival, he harshly criticized the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents and called out the president's discourse on the Central American migrant caravan as pandering to his base.
"Agent Orange was on the campaign trail for his fellow gangsters and stirring up his base by saying the migrant caravan was an invasion," he said. "And [previously] there are the images of infants being snatched from their mothers and there was no mechanism in place to reunite them with their parents. I don't know how it can get more inhumane than that."
Lee's latest movie, the 1970s-set BlacKkKlansman, centers on a black police officer (John David Washington) who infiltrates a local Ku Klux Klan chapter with the aid of his Jewish partner (Adam Driver). Lee sees the picture, which is loosely based on a true story, as a cautionary tale about a rise in fascism in the U.S. and abroad.
The film ends with video footage of the Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist march, which resulted in the death of an anti-racism activist. It also shows former KKK leader David Duke voicing support for Trump's campaign pledge to "take America back."
Lee says he knew he had the ending for his film after seeing the disturbing events unfold in Charlottesville.
"[Trump] had a chance to repudiate evil, to repudiate hate, to say no to the KKK, to say no to neo-Nazis, and he wouldn't do it," he said.
Asked if he has received threats following BlacKkKlansman's release, Lee said "no," but that he must stay on alert because "people feel empowered by the guy in the White House." He did, however, receive a death threat after the 1991 release of Jungle Fever.
Lee also spoke out for the need for a tighter gun control policy following the recent mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Thousand Oaks, Cali.
"What's crazy is that we have (a person) that was at the shooting in Las Vegas and also in Thousand Oaks. You know that shit is crazy," he said.