Spike Lee Shares What He Finds Encouraging About the Ongoing Black Lives Matter Protests (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
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Just like many around the nation, Spike Lee is feeling the heaviness over the recent death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests against brutality.
The 63-year-old director is known for speaking up for what he believes in, and stepped out to participate in a protest and vigil for Floyd in New York City this week. But as he told ET's Nischelle Turner while promoting his upcoming film, Da 5 Bloods, the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests are different than anything he's seen before.
"This country, the United States of America, is in turmoil right now," Lee expressed, adding that he's taking it "day by day." "My heart is in a good place, though. Something I've seen on television, I wanted to see with my own eyes, and what has given me strength is my fellow white brothers and sisters out there. Strong! And they have joined their black and brown sisters, locked arms, step-in-step… And what's really even giving me more hype, the number of young white brothers and sisters [protesting.] That's given me hope!"
"We had the Panther movement, the anti-war movement, the women's movement," he added. "We haven't seen this since the '60s. So that gives me hope."
When it comes to his work, Lee always has a message for his audience and his latest project is no different. Da 5 Bloods is about former soldiers who return to Vietnam to search for the remains of their fallen squad leader, played by Chadwick Boseman. One of the themes in the movie touches on how traumas of past generations can still affect people living today.
"Post-slavery syndrome," Lee said, "We are still dealing with trauma from slavery…We're still dealing with that as a people."
Lee's work is never finished, as he continues to shine a spotlight on African American stories. Earlier this week, he also released a short film in protest of Floyd's death. Titled "3 Brothers," the video includes clips from his 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, intercut with footage of the police killing of Eric Garner in 2014 and the death of George Floyd in May.
“How can people not understand why people [are] reacting the way they are? It’s history again, again and again. This is not new," Lee told CNN's Don Lemon during Sunday's special, I Can’t Breathe: Black Men Living and Dying in America.
See how other celebrities are speaking out against police brutality and championing the Black Lives Matter movement in the video below.