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June 2008

Clint Eastwood says 'Shut Your Face' to Lee in response to Lee's comments on Eastwood's war films

June 6, 2008

'A guy like him should shut his face' says Clint Eastwood in response to the comments Spike Lee made recently in Cannes while promoting his latest film, 'Miracle at St. Anna'.

A couple of weeks ago, Lee was talking in reference to Eastwood's 2006 war films, 'Flags of Our Fathers' and the Academy Award-Winning' Letters from Iwo Jima', when he stated the following, 'Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total,and there was not one Negro actor on the screen. If you reporters hadany balls you'd ask him why. There's no way I know why he did that.That was his vision, not mine. But I know it was pointed out to him and that he could have changed it. It's not like he didn't know.'

In a recent interview in response to Lee's comments, Eastwood states, 'Spike was complaining when I did 'Bird', the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker. Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else. As for 'Flags of Our Fathers', yes, there was a small detachment of black troops on Iwo Jima as a part of amunitions company, but they didn't raise the flag. The story is 'Flags of Our Fathers', the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go, 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate...I'm not in that game. I'm playing it the way I read it historically, and that's the way it is. When I do a picture and it's 90 percent black, like 'Bird,' I use 90 percent black people.'

In an interview with ABC News' Sheila Marikar, Lee responded to Eastwood's comments. 'First of all, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation, either,' he told ABCNEWS.com. 'He's a great director. He makes his films, I make my films. The thing about it though, I didn't personally attack him. And a comment like, 'A guy like that should shut his face' -- come on Clint, come on. He sounds like anangry old man right there.'

Lee also said, 'If he wishes, I could assemble African-American men who fought at Iwo Jima, and I'd like him to tell these guys that what they did was insignificant and they did not exist. I'm not making this up. I know history. I'm a student of history. And I know the history of Hollywood and its omission of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to World War II. Not everything was John Wayne,baby.'

Eastwood is currently working on 'The Human Factor,' starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in a tale about how Mandela used a campaignto have South Africa host the 1995 Rugby World Cup as a chance to unite his country, while Lee's 'Miracle at St. Anna' will be released this October.

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