The audience in attendance for the Sundance premiere of Spike Lee’s new film Red Hook Summer got a lot more than just an advance screening of Lee’s latest Joint. Instead, they were treated to an impromptu verbal lashing about his frustrations with Hollywood’s movie studio system.
According to EW.com, it was comedian Chris Rock who inspired the rant. Rock attended the movie’s post-screening Q&A session, and innocently asked Lee how he would have done things differently if a big studio financed Red Hook Summer.
While jabbing his finger towards Rock, Lee launched into a screaming fit for an answer, “We never went to the studios with this film,” he said. “I bought a camera and said we’re gonna do this motherf—ing film ourselves.”
The 54-year-old director says it was his plan from the beginning to go the Indie route via Sundance for his latest feature. “So this whole thing was planned out. I didn’t need a motherf---ing studio telling me something about [the neighborhood of] Red Hook!” said Lee. “They know nothing about Black people! Nothing! And they’re gonna give me notes about what a 13-year-old Black boy and girl do in Red Hook? F--- no!”
Sources say Lee’s anger grew as he also explained the difficulty he’s having funding future film projects. “What else can you do? We had to do it ourselves! We shot motherf---ing She’s Gotta Have It for 12 days back in 1986. And I’m now waiting for Universal to do the sequel to Inside Man, my biggest hit ever! I can't wait anymore!”
Reportedly, after the room became whisper quiet with only Lee's voice echoing in the hall the director finished with, “Sorry for that motherf---ing tirade.”
Later when asked about the incident, Rock seemed dumbfounded by Lee's response. The comedian told MTV News he "just asked a normal question. I just asked him how it would have been different if he'd had it financed by a studio. If he had more money," Rock said. "That was it. That's all I said. Everything else, I don't know. You gotta ask Spike."
Maybe Spike was just having a bad day?
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(Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)