Spike Lee and Bernie Sanders Talk ‘Black Lives Matter’ And Brooklyn in New Interview

By Sameer Rao Apr 08, 2016

Spike Lee makes no secret of his support for Bernie Sanders. Unsurprisingly, he has a lot of fun in his interview with the Democratic presidential nominee for The Hollywood Reporter (THR). 

The two Brooklyn natives address several topics relevant to the Vermont senator’s platform in this interview, which you can watch above and read here. For instance, Sanders shares his thoughts on Black Lives Matter and state violence:

Bernie, what does Black Lives Matter mean to you?

What it means is that we are all sick and tired of seeing unarmed people shot by police officers. That young people in African-American communities are harassed by police officers, where police departments are not there to be supportive but are in many cases oppressive, and that’s an issue that has to be addressed.

They also talked about Sanders’ relative lack of support among Black voters, especially those not within Sanders’ established youth support base:

What do you have to do to get the older generation of African-American votes? You’re like the new guy on the block. You’ve got the young Hispanic, African-American, you got it. But the older generation, Black folks, they know the Clintons 20-some years.

We’re doing phenomenally well with all of the young people—White, Black, Latino, you name it, Asian-American. And we’re getting killed, frankly, not just with older African-Americans but also older Whites, older Latinos. It’s the weirdest thing in the world. And what really bothers me is I spent half my life in Congress helping to lead the effort for senior citizens: We led the effort against cuts to Social Security—we want to expand Social Security; we took on the drug companies who are doing terrible things to elderly people. You know seniors are cutting their prescription drugs in half. So we have a lot of work to do in terms of reaching out to seniors, not just African-Americans, but seniors all across the board. We’re figuring out how you get the message out there.

Lee and Sanders’ conversation is the cover story for The Hollywood Reporter’s April 22 issue.