Eastwood hits back at Lee over race remarks

June 7th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, June 7 (ANI): Clint Eastwood has hit back at director Spike Lee for questioning why the veteran director/actor did not feature any black soldiers in his 2006 drama Flags of Our Fathers.

Lee, during a press conference following the premiere of a trailer for his new film “Miracle at St. Anna,” a World War II epic about an all-black infantry division that fought in Italy, at the Cannes Film Festival, had slammed Eastwood.

“There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint…. That was his version: the negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version,” the New York Daily News quoted him, as saying.

“It’s not like [Eastwood] could say he didn’t know. It was a conscious decision not to have any black people.”

And while Eastwood refused to comment during a press conference he later gave, he did hit back when he gave an interview to the London Guardian.

“Has he ever studied the history? Complained when I did [1988's Charlie Parker bio-pic] ‘Bird.’ [He said] ‘Why would a white guy be doing that?’ I was the only guy who made it, that’s why. [Lee] could have gone ahead and made it,” he tells the London Guardian.

Speaking about black troops on Iwo Jima, Eastwood said, “But they didn’t raise the flag. The story [was] … the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn’t do that. If I put an African-American actor in there, people’d go, ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate. … When I do a picture and it’s 90% black, like ‘Bird,’ I use 90% black people.

“A guy like [Lee] should shut his face.” (ANI)

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