Brooklyn-bred film director Spike Lee isn’t thrilled about what’s going on in his hometown borough… and he’s not afraid to tell you how he really feels.
Lee was in his old neighborhood at Pratt Institute Tuesday night to honor Black History Month, but much of his 90-minute speech turned into a rant against Brooklyn gentrification and its hipsters, after an audience member implied that there could be a positive side to gentrification.
“Let me just kill you right now,” Lee said, harping on a “bull[expletive]” New York Times article that argues the same point.
“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?” he asked. “The garbage wasn’t picked up every mother[expletive] day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. P.S. 20 was not good… The police weren’t around.”
Lee went on to call gentifrication the “Christopher Columbus Syndrome,” explaining that parts of the city can’t be “discovered” when people are already living there.
“You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations,” he said, “and you come in and now [expletive] gotta change because you’re here? Get the [expletive] outta here.”
Lee went on to complain about the rising costs of rent, the hipsters, the renaming of neighborhoods. Even the local dogs were shown no mercy.
“Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning?” he yelled into his microphone. “It’s like the mother-[expletive] Westminster dog show.”
Listen to the full audio below.