Meghan McCain Defends Spike Lee For Speaking His “Truth” After Trump Blasted The Director
Sometimes, support comes from unpredictable places. On Monday, The View co-host Meghan McCain defended film director Spike Lee's Oscar speech, hours after President Trump derided it as a "racist hit" on him.
"I’m on a different side than [Lee] is politically, but I like people taking time when they have a moment," McCain said on The View. "I’m not one of these people that's like everybody in Hollywood should shut the blank up. I actually think we have a reality show president, he's using his name this way and I don't understand what the problem is and I wish the Oscars and all awards shows lean into it a little bit."
McCain, who is known as one of the more conservative co-hosts of The View, added, "These are tumultuous times and we are in a pool that we say controversial things all the time. It’s not so bad, life does go on and it's OK for people to speak their truth when they get an award."
In his acceptance speech on Sunday for his first competitive Oscar for BlacKkKlansman, Lee spoke briefly about the 2020 presidential election without mentioning Trump's name. The president, however, appeared to have taken it personally, based on his tweet on Monday morning.
During his Oscar acceptance speech, Lee said, "The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there."
The Do The Right Thing bit in Lee's speech is a tongue-in-cheek reference to his 1989 film. The popular movie digs into a tiff between an Italian pizzeria owner and an African American character, "Buggin' Out," in a predominantly black neighborhood in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Even with no mentioning of Trump's name, it looks like Lee's speech caught the president's attention. Trump tweeted on Monday, "Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other [president]!"
It's worth noting, per The Washington Post, Trump's boasting about improving African American lives seems to contradict economic studies on the community, including its overall poverty and homeownership rates as well as median income.
Another View co-host, Joy Behar, took issue with Trump's lashing out against Lee. "If the shoe fits and you think every little remark about you is racist, maybe you ought to look in the mirror," Behar said on Monday.
In a Sunday backstage interview from Variety, Lee was more direct about condemning Trump. The film director referred to the 2017 Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which killed one counter-protester named Heather Heyer.
"Heather Heyer, her murder was an American terrorist act," Lee said on Sunday. "That car drove down that crowded street in [Charlottesville], and the president of the United States did not refute, did not denounce the Klan, alt-right and Neo-Nazis."
"This film — whether we won best picture or not — this film will stand the test of time being on the right side of history," the film director said.