Outspoken director Spike Lee shared his opinions on the New York City soda ban (he is in favor of it), the 2012 presidential election (he likes Obama), and Mormonism (it’s problematic) in a series of lengthy interviews to promote his new film “Red Hook Summer,” with New York Magazine’s entertainment blog, Vulture.
Lee, who hosted a big money fundraiser for President Obama, thinks that the November election will be “very, very, very, close,” and that voters will have to decide between the incumbent and a Mormon.
“Bottom line, there are many people in America who look at themselves and say, ‘Am I better now than I was before?’ It is going to be tooth and nail, and I think it is going to get nasty,” he told Vulture.
On New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban, Lee said that he is all for it. “I’m in favor of it…Children today in public schools across the country are not being taught art, are not being taught music, and they have no physical ed. Obesity is a major, major problem in this country. Americans—we’re just obese. It’s crazy. Ask African-Americans. We are way over index on obesity, which means we are over index on diabetes, heart disease, and it goes down the line. ”
Lee also compared 2012 campaign tactics to tactics used during the 1988 presidential election. That year, GOP candidate George H.W. Bush’s campaign created attack ads against Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis using the example of convicted murderer Willie Horton, who under Dukakis’ Massachusetts governorship killed another victim while he was out on parole.
“[I]n my opinion, if they are trying to bring up Reverend Jeremiah Wright again, they are really reaching. I hope and pray that people are not going to go for the Willie Horton okeydoke,” Lee said.
Lee also said he thinks Romney’s religion could prove problematic for some voters. ”I think there will be a block of people saying, ‘I cannot vote for a Mormon,’” he said. “They got a tough decision: Obama or a Mormon. Their beliefs got them between a rock and a hard place.”
Lee’s statements echo what he said during a June interview with Rolling Stone. “It is not a lock that president Obama is getting a second term and people have to really rekindle the enthusiasm that we had the first time,” Lee said at the time. “I can’t say to all the people that are unhappy with [Obama] that they’re racist people. People ain’t got jobs, people are hurting. So I don’t care what color you are, if people are out of work, it’s tough.”