Spike Lee responds to Boots Riley’s BlacKkKlansman criticisms

“We need police,” Lee told The Times in a new interview.

August 24, 2018
Spike Lee responds to Boots Riley’s <i>BlacKkKlansman</i> criticisms BlackKkKlansman press photo   Focus Features

This week, Sorry To Bother You director Boots Riley shared a critique of Spike Lee's new movie BlacKkKlansman. "[I]t is precisely its untrue elements that make a cop a hero against racism," Riley said, taking issue with how the film deviates from protagonist's Ron Stallworth's history as an infiltrator of black organizations.


As Pitchfork points out, Lee has responded to Riley's essay during an interview with The Times. After initially declining comment, Lee went on:

Look at my films: they’ve been very critical of the police, but on the other hand I’m never going to say all police are corrupt, that all police hate people of colour. I’m not going to say that. I mean, we need police. Unfortunately, police in a lot of instances have not upheld the law; they have broken the law. But I’d also like to say, sir, that black people are not a monolithic group. I have had black people say, ‘How can a bourgeois person like Spike Lee do Malcolm X?

Spike Lee responds to Boots Riley’s BlacKkKlansman criticisms