I thought it was kind of silly when, a few years ago, Spike Lee tried to sue Spike TV over their name (although, occasionally, I'd like to punish them as well for forcing me to sit through commercials for the Ultimate Fighters Reality Show when I just want to catch the odd episode of Star Trek: Voyager, but that's another issue). However, I'm pleased to know that, in general, he's fighting more important battles. For instance, when he recently received Chrysler's sixth annual Behind the Lens award, he politely thanked them all - and then let loose a torrent of accusations about the lack of diversity in the film industry and the difficulty of getting worthwhile film financed:
He started with financing difficulties for indie films. "I took my ass on a plane to Europe and got the financing for this film," Lee said of his latest joint, the World War II drama "Miracle of St. Anna." "So, as Malcolm (X) said, the struggle is far from over."
Lee continued on what he called his "little tirade," addressing the African-American industryites in the audience and telling them it didn't matter what kind of car they drove or how big their houses are, "we're way behind in film."
The author of the article keeps framing Lee's quotes as "jokes" and "quips," but I don't think he was joking. If an established and honored director such as Lee can't even get films financed, what are chances of currently unknown minority directors doing the same?