Jordan Peele and Spike Lee Talk Black Film

By Sameer Rao Feb 08, 2019

For “BlacKkKlansman" producer Jordan Peele and director Spike Lee, the film’s multiple Oscar nominations represent a change in Black Hollywood’s fortunes. The pair explores this shift and what it means for the future in a conversation that The Hollywood Reporter published online today (February 8).


rntCheck out these excerpts, then read the full discussion at

Peele on the industry belief that Black films don’t sell overseas:

My response to that theory of Black films don’t travel, I’m like, "How do you know? You’re not letting enough Black people make films. How many White films don’t travel? You’re not talking about that." There is this enormous lack of balance that has prevented Black filmmakers from getting opportunities.

Lee on why there needs to be more Black film executives:

What I’m focusing on now is not that we get a film [made], we’re past that point. For me, I’m looking forward, and that’s the gatekeepers. That’s where the next frontier is. In my opinion, those gatekeeping positions where these individuals, quarterly, decide what we’re going to make and what we’re not fucking making. To the best of my knowledge, we’re not up there. Maybe one or two.

Lee on channeling his ancestors:

You know what’s the interesting thing? Today, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson would’ve been 100 years old. But we’re here because of him, Mel Van Peebles, Ozzy the director, Gordon Parks, Mike—a lot of people sleep on Michael Schultz. Brother directed a lot of those great Richard Pryor films. So, no matter who you are, there was somebody there before you who was catching hell. And I feel that we could all use that, to draw upon our ancestors.