“Do The Right Thing: that’s what many are saying to Spike Lee as they call on the famed director to end his Kickstarter campaign,” Bloomberg TV’s Trish Regan begins.
Spike Lee was quick to retort, “Woah, woah, woah, why would you open like that?”
What may have been confused for playful banter quickly becomes explicitly heated: “First of all, you don’t know how much money I have, you’ve never seen me before in your life,” he tells the reporter.
The NYC-based director has been using the popular crowd-funding website to raise cash for a new film, and many, like Toronto Standard‘s Alan Jones, have been critical of the recent movement of Giving Your Money to Rich People on Kickstarter.
The reporter goes on to fairly represent many critics’ opinions, which Lee mistakes for her own. “You cannot be for my film if you open up a segment like that.”
According to Lee, the current Hollywood system isn’t working. Big budget pictures aren’t always making big bucks at the box office, which leaves little room for the small, independent pictures. Lee goes on to explain that outsourcing for a production budget has always been around (“I was kickstarting before Kickstarter”), and the only thing that’s changed is accessibility to the public sphere through the new technology.
Responding to criticisms that he’s merely “taking money from the small artists,” Lee had a mouthful. “I’m bringing people to Kickstarter who have never heard of Kickstarter… why would I be professor at NYU for 15 years if I didn’t care about young filmmakers?” Further, he states that, “since 1989 I have given out $300,000 to my students through the Spike Lee Production Fund. That is not an act of someone who is trying to squish out young filmmakers.”
Watch as they uncomfortably talk over each other and repeat the same words over and over again, and check out The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint on Kickstarter.
Jeremy Schipper is an intern at Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeromeoschipps.