According to actor Samuel L. Jackson, President Trump is like a plantation owner for having made life better for black Americans under his tenure.
Speaking with TMZ at LAX this week following his appearance at the Oscars on Sunday, the “Shaft” actor was asked to comment on the president’s recent feud with filmmaker Spike Lee regarding the well-being of black people in America.
“[Trump] said that he’s done more for African-Americans than almost any other president,” a TMZ reporter told Jackson, prompting Jackson to respond, “Yeah, he’s got a bigger plantation.”
On Sunday night, Trump said: “Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!”
At the Oscars on Sunday, Spike Lee called upon America to “do the right thing” and vote Trump out of office in 2020.
“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner,” said Lee. “Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!”
Spike Lee has compared the president’s critique of his acceptance speech to the critique of the National Anthem kneelers. “They did the same thing with the African-American players who were kneeling, trying to make it into an anti-American thing, an anti-patriotic thing, and an anti-military thing,” Lee told Entertainment Weekly. “But no one’s going for that.”
Samuel L. Jackson was also asked by TMZ if he thought Spike Lee turning his back on “Green Book” winning Best Picture was disrespectful. He provided no comment. The director nearly stormed out of the auditorium on Sunday night when “Green Book” was announced. Though he was forced to remain, he kept his back to the stage.
“I’m snakebit. Every time someone’s driving somebody, I lose,” Spike Lee told reporters. “I thought I was courtside at the Garden and the refs made a bad call.”
Jordan Peele, a producer on Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman,” was also visibly upset by the win and “reportedly didn’t clap” at the announcement along with other members of the “BlacKkKlansman” team.
Richard Newby at The Hollywood Reporter defended Spike Lee’s “righteous anger” at “Green Book” winning Best Picture:
Green Book is a Band-Aid film, covering up an open wound in need of stitches, while Lee’s BlacKkKlansman forces us to look closely at America’s racial wound and provides a means through which we can begin to heal it, though recognizing there is no easy fix and the wound will still leave a scar on our country’s history. Green Book is a step back for the Academy Awards and a reminder that despite our ability to be honored as winners, black stories still make us outsiders. Until the institutions in place are changed, metaphorically burned down with our righteous anger, we’ll remain so.
Meghan McCain of “The View” has defended Spike Lee’s statements while denouncing President Trump.
“Art is political… I’m not one of these people who think everyone in Hollywood should shut the blank up,” McCain said, according to Fox News. “We have a reality-show president. He’s using his time this way and I don’t understand what the problem is, and I wish the Oscars and all awards shows would lean into it a little bit.”
“These are tumultuous times and we are in a pool that we say controversial things all the time,” she added. “It’s not so bad, life does go on, and it’s okay for people to speak their truth when they get an award.”