Speed Reads

32 years later

Spike Lee: Black people are still 'being hunted down like animals'

Director Spike Lee looked back on his iconic film Do the Right Thing at the start of this year's Cannes Film Festival, saying it remains relevant years later because Black people are still "being hunted down like animals." 

Lee is serving as jury president at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and at a press conference Tuesday, he spoke about his film Do the Right Thing after its recent 32-year anniversary. Released in 1989, the movie culminates with a Black man, Radio Raheem, being killed by police. 

"You would think and hope that 30-something motherf---ing years later that Black people would have stopped being hunted down like animals," Lee said, per Deadline

But the director said that "when you see brother Eric Garner, when you see king George Floyd, murdered, lynched, I think of Radio Raheem," per The Hollywood Reporter. During the press conference, Lee also blasted former President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as "gangsters." 

"They have no morals and no scruples," he said. "And we have to speak out against gangsters like that."

Lee is making history as the first Black president of the Cannes Film Festival jury this year, Variety notes. As the event commenced, he praised Cannes, where Do the Right Thing was famously snubbed, as the "world's greatest film festival."