"Wake up!" says a radio spot released today from the "Do The Right Thing" director. "Wake up, South Carolina! This is your dude Spike Lee. And I know that you know the system is rigged. For too long we've given our votes to corporate puppets. Sold the Okie-doke." (Hear the full ad below.)
With the African-American vote and celebrity endorsements big factors in the race for the Democratic nomination between the Vermont senator and Hillary Clinton, Lee’s backing could prove pivotal for Sanders. Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary, has 51 delegates to Clinton’s 52, not including her massive lead among super delegates.
"Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the great recession of 2008, and many are still recovering," the "Chi-Raq" helmer saysin the ad. "And that's why I am officially endorsing my brother Bernie Sanders. Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he is not on the take. And when Bernie gets into the White House, he will do the right thing.”
"How can we be sure? Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr. King," Lee notes, reminding South Carolina voters of Sanders’ long civil rights record. "He was arrested in Chicago for a protest of segregation in public schools. He has fought for wealth and education equality throughout his career."
Meanwhile, Will Ferrell has joined in backing Clinton, who polls show with a strong lead among African Americans both in South Carolina and nationally. The former Secretary of State also has had Shonda Rhimes and Morgan Freeman coming out for her, too. Still, Sanders, the self-described “democratic socialist,” has the backing of Cornell West, rapper Killer Mike and Danny Glover.
The next question for Lee, who said he will not be attending the Oscars this year over the lack of African American nominees in the top categories: Will he instead be in South Carolina stumping for Sanders?