Spike Lee Still Going on Gentrification, Calls Michael Rapaport Stupid

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Manhattan resident and Brooklyn protector Spike Lee has more to say about gentrification (see his original explosion here) but saves his best darts for old pal Michael Rapaport. The actor, director, and fellow Knicks fan recently told Intelligencer, “I think what’s happened to Brooklyn is great,” and called out Lee for living on the Upper East Side anyway. Rapaport made similar comments to HuffPost Live, so when Lee stopped by to chat with Marc Lamont Hill on the web program, it was easy to get the director going on the subject, which is obviously one of his favorites.

“First of all, motherfucking Rapaport doesn’t know what he’s fucking talking about,” said Lee, borrowing some of the emphatic language from his February speech at Pratt Institute. ("It was not a tirade,” he said of that night. “I was very passionate about something.”)

“Here’s the thing,” he continued on HuffPost Live. “What Michael Rapaport left out because he’s stupid, he did not talk about the people who can no longer afford to live in Williamsburg, who can no longer afford to live in Fort Greene, who can no longer accord to live in Clinton Hill.” 

The Upper East Side critique, he added, is “so lame.” Lee went on, “So should Jay Z stop rapping about Brooklyn? When was the last time Jay Z lived in the Washington Projects?  … That is so ignorant that because I live on the Upper East Side — that’s fucking bullshit.”  

“Look, he’s not even a good filmmaker, first of all,” he said of Rapaport. “He’s not even a good filmmaker. He’s not even a good filmmaker, so I don’t know what he’s talking about. I could live on the moon — Brooklyn is still going to be inside of me.” 

“I don’t even have an apartment on the Upper East Side,” Lee added. “I have a house.”

Spike Lee Still Going on Gentrification