Access Exclusive: Spike Lee On Clint Eastwood: ‘We’re Cool’
First Published: September 6, 2008 5:04 PM EDT Credit: AP
TORONTO, Canada -- After a war of words that took place in the press, Spike Lee has exclusively told Access Hollywood that his public beef with fellow director Clint Eastwood is over.
“That thing with Clint was overblown, and that stuff was squashed. We’re cool,” he told Access’ Shaun Robinson at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he’s promoting his World War II drama, “Miracle at St. Anna.”
While he told Shaun that he hasn’t spoken with Clint himself, Spike revealed that it was Steven Spielberg who handled the mediations.
“We never talked, but I talked to Spielberg, and Spielberg talked to him,” Spike said, laughing.
The truce came about during this year’s NBA playoffs.
“Here’s the story,” Spike began. “Game 3. LA. Staples Center. Lakers-Celtics. I’m going to the bathroom, and Spielberg’s sitting there with Eddie Murphy and Jeffrey Katzenberg. And Katzenberg was getting on me about leaving Clint alone. I said, ‘Steven, let me talk to you for a second.’ So we talked, I conveyed a message, and he said, ‘I’ll call Clint in the morning.’ And it’s hunky-dory. He said he was gonna make a call, he made it, squashed.”
And Spike’s even planning on sending his new film over to Clint for private viewing.
“He has his own screening room, we’ll send him a print,” he laughed.
The conflict arose earlier this year after Spike called out Clint at the Cannes Film Festival in May, taking him to task for the lack of black actors in his World War II films, “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.”
“He did two films about Iwo Jima back to back, and there was not one black soldier in both of those films,” Lee told reporters at the time. “Many veterans, African Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist. Simple as that. I have a different version.”
Clint responded in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, saying that black troops at Iwo Jima “didn’t raise the flag.”
“The story is ‘Flags of Our Fathers,’ the famous flag-raising picture, Clint said. “And they didn’t do that.”
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