If you haven’t heard by now, Spike Lee has turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise $1.25 million to make his new film, which he’s described as a ‘psychological bloody thriller.’
Since launching his campaign 11 days ago, Lee as amassed more than 2,400 financial backers, raised $508,000, and still has 19 days to go.
Sounds great right?
However, Lee’s Kickstarter success has also generated strong criticism from the media. Yesterday the 56-year-old filmmaker made an appearance on Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart and had a heated debate about the backlash he’s recieved for using Kickstarter.
Steet Smart host Trish Regan started out the segment saying “Do the Right Thing… that’s what many are saying to Spike Lee as they call on the fame director to end his new Kickstarter campaign.”
Lee then interrupted Regan asking, “why would you open like that. Why would you open like that?”
“First of all, you don’t know how much money I have,” the Malcolm X director shot back. “You’ve never seen me before in your life.”
After defending his Kickstarter campaign and discussing why he turned to crowdfunding to make his new project, Lee procceded to call Regan a “hater.” “Don’t worry about haters like her,” he says. “We’re going to get this. You cannot be for my film if you open the segment like that. That was pure hate.”
During an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon Lee talked about his reason for using Kickstarter.
“I needed to go to Kickstarter to get this film made because this is not necessarily a Hollywood film, Lee said. “It’s more like an independent film.”
The 56-year-old Brooklyn native then said he doesn’t envision his contemporaries in the industry, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg or Clint Eastwood, following in his footsteps and turning to Kickstarter to fund their future films.
“Anybody could do this, but Steven Spielberg,” Lee said. “Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Scorsese, they don’t have to do that.” Why? “Because they don’t have to do it,” he said “They’re great filmmakers and they’re beloved by the studios.
Monday, Baltasar Kormákur, the director of the upcoming action click 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg weighed in on Lee using Kickstarter.
“I think if you don’t need it [money], let the other ones have it,” Kormákur said. “Or if it helps the whole thing to get attention maybe that’s a good way of doing it…”
“But I’m basically saying, I don’t think he needs it. I’m sure he can finance his project differently. But who am I to judge him.”
What do you think? Is it fair for an established director like Spike Lee to use Kickstarter to raise funds?
Watch Chris Witherspoon discuss Spike Lee’s Kickstarter campaign on MSNBC’s ‘Weekends with Alex Witt’ below:
Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter for more Entertainment news at @WitherspoonC