Social Media

Wake Up! Bernie Sanders and Spike Lee

With the semester winding down I thought that I would touch on one of the ideas that Lee constantly incorporates into his movies, the notion of “Waking Up”. The message of waking up society is clearly present in School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Chiraq but it has recently trickled into our everyday news with Lee’s endorsement of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. It is one of the few times, if not the only, where a major filmmaker has teamed up to shoot a political ad for a candidate.

What I found to be most interesting about the campaigns is how Spike Lee is no longer embedding messages in his films for his audiences to pick up, but rather he is proactively sending a clear and direct message about the state of change that needs to occur in America. A lot of the films we have watched this semester have told us to “wake up” but have provided no clear instructions or method on how we can do so, thus it is interesting to hear Lee claim that voting for a particular candidate will assist in “waking up” American society.

Attached are a short Soundcloud clip that was released before the South Carolina primary and a longer, five minute ad targeted to the greater United States population.

“Hollywood Whitewashing”

I found this short clip from “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” being shared on a variety of social media platforms and thought that it was an interesting piece that connected with a lot of the ideas that we discussed around Hollywood Shuffle. It reverts back to some of the themes and constraints non-white actors face in acquiring rolls in Hollywood. It further extends the struggle that their aren’t only certain roles that particular races frequently appear in ( pimp, drug dealer, slave) but also that Hollywood is actively giving leading roles away. On the flip side, the argument and controversy is furthered when black, or non-white actors, take lead roles. The double standard that exists is quite ridiculous, particularly when it is related to Bond or Rue in massively successful pop culture films. I am curious as to why in the same paper there can simultaneously be articles about how “Bond was meant to be white” while another section proclaims how limiting and stigmatizing white Hollywood can be. With this in mind, it will be intriguing to see how this issue is resolved moving forwards and if more paramount roles will become available for non-white actors.