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Spike Lee under fire after vandals strike old Brooklyn neighbourhood

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Mar 02, 2014 | 10:56am EST

Outspoken director Spike Lee has come under fire for giving out his father's Brooklyn, New York address during a rant about the area's gentrification, after vandals sprayed graffiti on neighbours' homes. The He Got Game director complained about the changes in Fort Greene, where he was raised, while giving a speech at the Pratt Institute on Tuesday (25Feb14), when he claimed improvements had only been made since white residents moved in, which in turn raised house prices and forced out long-standing black residents. He raged, "I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It's changed. And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better?... Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It's like the motherf**kin' Westminster Dog Show... People can't afford to live here anymore." His angry comments prompted some people to vandalise the brownstone buildings surrounding Lee's childhood home in Washington Park, apparently in support of the director. Dianne MacKenzie, who has lived next door to Lee's jazz musician father Bill since 1998, has since had her windows smashed and the words 'Do The Right Thing' sprayed onto the front of her house. The message appears to be a nod to the title of Lee's 1989 film about racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighbourhood. The 66 year old tells the New York Post, "It (the graffiti)'s horrible, it's mindless... All I know is Spike Lee made these comments and the next day my door is broken and I'm vandalised." Police are currently investigating the incident.

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