Just when it seemed like Spike Lee's verbal war on gentrification was dying down, along comes Michael Rapaport to fan the flames.
Citing Lee's recent criticism of the supposed good of gentrification, Rapaport told HuffPost Live last month that Lee's current address voids his comments about what's going on in Brooklyn. "If the people that donated money to Spike Lee's last film saw the apartment that he lives in, they'd bug out," he boldly proclaimed, adding that Lee is "making money off the fact that [Brooklyn] got better."
Lee was livid when he got wind of Rapaport's comments, going straight for the fellow New Yorker's jugular during his own HuffPost Live interview yesterday. "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 afford to live in Clinton Hill," he exclaimed.
To Lee, what Rapaport and many others are forgetting is that many longtime Brooklyn residents can no longer afford to live in their neighborhoods due to the soaring cost of living. Then Lee, at his most antagonistic, got personal: "He's not even a good filmmaker, so I don't know what he's talking about."
Do the Right Thing, Lee's ode to racial tensions in Brooklyn, turns 25 next month. It looks like this issue is heating up again just in time for the film's anniversary.