of the gentrification in NYC and other cities. Quite frankly I don't blame him...
Spike Lee Gentrification Rant Stirs Responses From Brooklyn Residents
Spike Lee and
his criticism of the gentrification of New York, more specifically
Brooklyn, was one of the most-buzzed about topics in the news yesterday.
After his appearance as a guest lecturer at the Pratt Institute this
week where he railed against how much the city has changed, Brooklyn
residents have lashed out at the famed film director.
RELATED: Spike Lee Unleashes Fiery Rant On Gentrification In New York
Lee’s passion against how much his beloved borough of Brooklyn has
become a haven for so-called “hipsters” and young professional Whites
was on display during a minutes-long rant at Pratt. The New York Daily News captured reactions from some of Brooklyn’s transplants who took umbrage at Lee’s comments.
From the News:
“I don’t see a negative to cleaning up a neighborhood,” said Marina Rutherfurd,
25, who was walking her English springer spaniel Hudson in Fort Greene
Park on Wednesday, not far from where Lee shot scenes for “Crooklyn,”
his 1994 semibiographical film about life growing up in Brooklyn during
“I think it’s a creative bunch of people doing interesting things,”
added Rutherfurd, who moved to Fort Greene just a month ago from the
Hamptons, where she recently opened a restaurant called Station. “It’s
all good intentions.”
At one point, Lee passionately blasted dog walkers at Fort Greene
Park, calling it the “motherf*ckin’ Westminster Dog Show” during his
discussion on Tuesday. Other reactions from Brooklyn residents were
similar, with one woman saying Lee was just trying to “provoke” people
and adding that’s what he’s always done. Another person who moved to the
borough from Toronto added that she sees “benefit” in Brooklyn’s
gentrification and lauded the fact she can now buy a “decent cup of
Daily News columnist Errol Louis suggested that Lee
actually helped to lure people to his native Brooklyn because of his
marketing of the borough by way of his dress and New York pride that is
almost always on display. Louis noted that Lee’s rant was humorous at
points but also said that it was “downright offensive” as well. On
social media, Louis’ column was praised with many comments adding that Lee was “racist,” among other things not fit to print.
NPR blogger and Postbourgie founder/editor Gene “G.D.” Demby shared in
Louis’ suggestion that Lee helped make the area attractive to
transplants and outsiders, with both writers noting the many
entertainers who called the borough home at one time. Stars such as Erykah Badu, Guru and DJ Premier of Gang Starr fame, Saul Williams, Jay Electronica
and a host of other transplants have lived in Brooklyn over the years,
no doubt attracted to the creative energy Lee wants to see preserved.
Lee hasn’t said much since delivering the rant, but a quick scan of his Twitter account showed that he posted an Instagram photo of an old Tarzan movie with the caption “Early Gentrification.”