The Washington Times - September 17, 2008, 04:15PM

In the New Yorker’s profile of Spike Lee this week (which is not yet available online), author John Colapinto pens an odd line:

“[Lee] has directed eighteen features, three of which (‘Do the Right Thing,’ ‘Jungle Fever,’ and ‘Malcolm X’) have earned him a reputation as a filmmaker obsessed with race.”


For the record, I think Spike Lee is a fine filmmaker and am looking forward to his next feature, “Miracle at St. Anna.” But to say that Lee has earned his reputation as America’s most racially-obsessed filmmaker because of three films is disingenuous to say the least. Taking a look at Lee’s filmography, I can only see two or three features that aren’t explicitly about race relations, and even then I can think of a scene or two in each where racism comes into play.

Spike Lee makes movies about race in America. Period. It’s what he does. Let’s not pretend he’s been unfairly assigned the label of racial muckraker.