Actor Anthony Mackie questioned the sincerity of renowned filmmaker Spike Lee‘s concern over gentrification in Brooklyn, pointing out that the Red Hook director no longer even lives in the borough.
In a sit-down interview with The Grio’s Chris Witherspoon, Mackie said that Lee’s escape to Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a form of “reverse gentrification” and ”as your tax brackets changes, I guess your zip code changes.”
Mackie then goes on to suggest that he’s more Brooklyn than Lee:
“I live in Brooklyn. My address is in Brooklyn. I have two restaurants in Brooklyn. I don’t have a problem with gentrification. The people [who] want to live in Brooklyn, move to Brooklyn.”
Mackie starred in two Spike Lee joints early in his career, She Hate Me (2004), and Sucker Free City.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Lee was a guest lecturer at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for an African American History Month event, blocks away from his father’s home and his company headquarters, when a brave audience member mentioned gentrification as a positive shift in demographics.
Lee, a long-time, outspoken critic of the whitewashing of his beloved Brooklyn, went on an epic, expletive-laden rant.
Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherf*ckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. P.S. 20 was not good. P.S. 11. Rothschild 294. The police weren’t around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.
Then comes the motherf*ckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherf*ckin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud.
Listen to Lee’s full rant below