spike lee on bloomberg*Although films such as “She’s Gotta Have It” and “Malcolm X” were created with grassroots fundraising, many are questioning Spike Lee’s choice to utilize Kickstarter for his new film project.

Lee took to the popular crowd funding site to raise $1.2 million for his latest film, which is said to be about people ‘addicted to blood.” As incentives, the campaign offers contributors things like courtside tickets to a Knicks game and producer credits in exchange for pledges. The donors are not charged until the campaign reaches it’s goal.

The Oscar nominated director has been on a string of press appearances to help promote the campaign. During his promo run he had a testy exchange with Trish Regan on Bloomberg TV that went viral.

BET spoke with Lee who shared his feelings on the viral rant, the criticism he’s faced and the Kickstarter campaign.

Are you surprised at the criticism you’ve received for doing Kickstarter?
I’ve been criticized since the very beginning with She’s Gotta Have It. Mo’ Betta Blues I was anti-Semitic. Jungle Fever I didn’t like interracial relationships. I’m really trying to stress, I was doing Kickstarter before there was a Kickstarter.

What’s the number one challenge in getting a movie made by the studio system?
If you’re doing a film that’s not in 3D, not animated, if people aren’t transforming — it’s hard to get films that aren’t like that made.

Your films always have a particular message. What will be the message of this film?
It’s a love story. It’s people addicted to blood. It’s not the Black Twilight.

You mentioned criticism earlier. You’ve been called a misogynist. You’ve been called homophobic. I wonder —
First of all, I’m not homophobic. Because I have a character say the word “f—-t” or “homo” that does not mean that I’m homophobic.  Martin Scorsese is not racist. The characters are people he grew up with, characters in the mean streets — that’s those people talking, not him. In that world, those are the things people say. When I went to Morehouse College that’s the way they spoke, thought and talked about homosexuals.

I saw that Twitter conversation
Yeah — that person is an idiot. To be an artist, if you’re a novelist — every character you write is going to have the same vision? How do you have conflict if everybody is agreeing? Plus, what I’ve done is hold the mirror up. I’ve done a lot of showing what is happening now. I try to expose stuff by showing it — that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing it.

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