Spike Lee at Sundance: Studios ‘Know Nothing About Black People’

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Photo: Neilson Barnard/2012 Getty Images

Spike Lee premiered his new film Red Hook Summer at Sundance last night, and though the movie was divisive, it was nothing compared to the incendiary Q&A afterward. After a relatively innocuous question from audience member Chris Rock on how different the movie would have been if Lee had a big studio budget to work with, the filmmaker ranted, "I didn’t need a motherfucking studio telling me something about Red Hook! They know nothing about black people! Nothing! And they’re gonna give me notes about what a 13-year-old black boy and girl do in Red Hook? Fuck no!" Continued Lee, "We shot motherfucking She’s Gotta Have It for twelve days back in 1986. And I’m now waiting for Universal to do the sequel to Inside Man, my biggest hit ever! I can't wait anymore!" After the audience fell silent — and Lee was encouraged to wrap things up — the director smiled. "Sorry for that motherfucking tirade," he said.