Left-wing Hollywood director and activist Spike Lee believes the world is “run by gangsters” like “Agent Orange” — his moniker for former President Donald Trump — and Russian President Vladimir Putin, making the assertion during an interview at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lee, who is serving as jury president for festival, responded to a “Georgian journalist’s emotional question about Russian oppression in her country” by taking aim at the former president and tossing him in with other “gangster” world leaders, such as Putin.
“This world is run by gangsters — Agent Orange [Donald Trump], the guy in Brazil [president Jair Bolsinaro] and [Russian president Vladimir] Putin. They’re gangsters, and they’re gonna do what they want to do. They have no morals and no scruples,” he said. “And we have to speak out against gangsters like that.”
US director and Jury President of the 74th Cannes Film Festival Spike Lee arrives for a press conference of the Jury at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on July 6, 2021. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
US director and Jury President of the 74th Cannes Film Festival Spike Lee (C) arrives with Jury members (fromL) South Korean actor Song Kang-Ho, French actor Tahar Rahim, French-Canadian singer Mylene Farmer, US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, French actress and director Melanie Laurent, Austrian director Jessica Hausner, Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho and French-Senegalese director Mati Diop for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film “Annette” at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on July 6, 2021. (VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
This is not the first time the Malcolm X and BlacKkKlansman director has taken a swipe at the former president. While accepting an award from the New York Film Critics Circle in June, Lee brazenly declared that “President Agent Orange will go down in history with the likes of Hitler.”
“The whole world is laughing at the United States of America, the so-called cradle of democracy,” the Oscar-winner said in the acceptance speech for his short film New York, New York.
“We’re at a crossroads now, and everybody please be safe. This is not a game. These people got guns with ammunition,” he cautioned. “I hope to God that I’m wrong, but people are gonna get killed behind this bullshit. This president, President Agent Orange [Donald Trump], will go down in history with the likes of Hitler. These guys — all his boys — they’re going down on the wrong side of history.”
Prior to the election, Lee warned of a coming Civil War if Trump did not leave office and begged people to “come out and vote because this motherfucker is not going to leave.”
Trump did, in fact, leave office willingly.
Later that month, Lee joined Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, where they revealed their belief that Americans are inherently racist.
“I may not want to be racist, but if I live in a racist country where there is systemic racism, then it’s inside me whether I want it or not. Part of my life’s work is to try to get it out. It’s like a poison that’s in all of us,” Byrne said at the time.
Lee has also slammed the founding of the country which has made his estimated $50 million net worth possible.
“The foundation of the United States of America is immoral, from the get-go. The foundation has been shaky from day one,” the BlacKkKlansman director said in a June 2020 interview. “This country was based upon the stealing of the land from native people and genocide against native people, coupled with slavery. That is how this country was built.”