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Spike Lee Fires Back at Clint Eastwood's 'Shut Your Face' Comment

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Jun 06, 2008 | 7:56pm EDT

Outspoken moviemaker Spike Lee has fuelled the war of words between himself and Clint Eastwood by calling the Hollywood icon "an angry old man."

Lee was upset when the Dirty Harry star used an interview in a British newspaper to attack the Malcolm X director over remarks he made about the lack of black actors in Eastwood's 2006 war films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.

The veteran suggested Lee should "shut his face," adding that the younger director should get his facts right before lecturing him about African-American soldiers.

Eastwood told Britain's The Guardian newspaper, "The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they (black soldiers) didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people go, 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate."

But Lee isn't happy with Eastwood's comeback to comments he made at the Cannes Film Festival last month.

The director says, "First of all, the man is not my father and we're not on a plantation either... I didn't personally attack him, and a comment like 'a guy like that should shut his face...' Come on, Clint, come on. He sounds like an angry old man.

"If he wishes, I could assemble African-American men who fought at Iwo Jima and I'd like him to tell these guys that what they did was insignificant and they did not exist.

"I'm not making this up. I know history. I'm a student of history. And I know the history of Hollywood and its omission of the one million African-American men and women who contributed to World War II."

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