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Clint Eastwood tells Spike Lee to go 'study American history'

By Chris V. Thangham     May 24, 2008 in Entertainment
Clint Eastwood has rejected Spike Lee’s criticism over the fact Eastwood did not use black actors in his two films, “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”. Eastwood says he didn’t because there were none.

Flags of Our Fathers, movie trailer.

Letters from Iwo Jima, movie trailer.
Director Spike Lee raised some criticism yesterday against Hollywood great, Clint Eastwood. Lee said Eastwood failed to use the contribution of many black soldiers during Iwo Jima by not casting black actors for the film.
Lee told an audience in Cannes, where he is promoting his own film “Miracle at St. Anna”, a story about an all-black U.S. division based in Tuscany, Italy.
Very few Hollywood films deal with black soldiers…For the most part, if you look at the history of Hollywood cinema they haven't dealt with anybody other than white Americans. If you think Hollywood and World War Two, you think John Wayne -- the great white male that saved the world.
Eastwood who is also in Cannes promoting his movie “Changeling” dismissed Lee’s statements today. Eastwood said it's absurd to argue he “erased the role of black GIs from history”. He pointed out the fact that there were no black actors in the two movies because there were no African-American soldiers involved in the actual events.
Eastwood told Focus, a German magazine:
Does he know anything about American history?...The U.S. military was segregated till the Korean War, and the blacks in World War Two were totally segregated. The only black battalion on Iwo Jima was a small munitions supply unit that came to the beach.
"The story was about the men who raised the flag and we can't make them black if they were not there. So tell him: Why don't you go back and study your history and stop mouthing off!
"Flags of Our Fathers" deals with U.S. soldiers who raised the flag in Iwo Jima, and "Letters from Iwo Jima" looks at the same battle from the Japanese perspective.
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