Spike Lee Ignites War of Words with Clint Eastwood Over Absence of Blacks in Director's World War II Films

Published June 10, 2008

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 9, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Spike Lee has ignited a war of words with Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood. Lee took issue with the lack of African-Americans cast in Eastwood's World War II films "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima," saying "Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen."

Now Eastwood fired back and said, "I'm playing it the way I read it historically, and that's the way it is; a guy like him should shut his face."

With us now for reaction, civil rights attorney Leo Terrell.

Look, doesn't Clint have a point, Leo? He was making about a movie about the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima. There were not African-Americans as part of that. There were African-Americans who served in the military, but that wasn't the focus of the Eastwood film. He was trying to be historically accurate. Isn't that the issue?

Watch Sean and Alan's interview with Leo Terrell

LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: No, because he didn't show one black face during the entire four hours of that movie. I saw that movie.

Alan, there were 900 black men who fought in Iwo Jima. Fourteen of them got the Silver Star. There was a poor depiction — the fact that there was not a single African-American there, in the case that Clint Eastwood did not correctly tell history.

COLMES: Buth this was about the raising of the flag. That's what this was about.

TERRELL: No, no. It was also about who was there, not just the raising the flag. But look at that movie, look at that clip right there. There were black men who served and died in Iwo Jima.

COLMES: You know, look, Leo, he made a movie about Charlie Parker called "Bird."

TERRELL: That's not the issue.

COLMES: Well, no, it is the issue. He was criticized by Spike Lee for that, saying a white guy shouldn't have made that film. Spike Lee could have made that film, as well, and he employed 90 percent African- American actors in that film. To suggest Clint Eastwood somehow does not care to employ African-American actors, which is the implication here, is wrong.

TERRELL: The issue here is it was a wrong portrayal of what happened in World War II in Iwo Jima. African-Americans died in that movie. They died in that war. They died in Iwo Jima. Nine hundred African-Americans, Alan, landed at Iwo Jima. Fourteen of them got the Silver Stars. Just like Ollie North, there was not a black face. That's what Spike Lee is saying, not one black face in that entire four-hour movie.

COLMES: Isn't the implication here that Clint Eastwood is racist? That's the subtext here? That's not true. He makes "Bird." He couldn't put a bunch of white actors in that film, which he did not do.

TERRELL: Come on, come on. It's not like saying what have you done recently or what have you done lately? The point here is that that was a historical movie...

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Leo — Leo...

TERRELL: ... and to not have a single black face is wrong. That's wrong!

HANNITY: Leo...

TERRELL: Fourteen African-Americans received the silver star.

HANNITY: Leo, let me ask you a couple quick questions here. Do you think Larry Bird was one of the greatest basketball players?

TERRELL: Yes.

HANNITY: And do you think when Spike Lee said he was overrated because of his race...

TERRELL: Oh, come on.

HANNITY: Spike Lee, "He's overrated because of his race. You listen to the white media..."

TERRELL: Don't change the...

HANNITY: "... and nobody ever played basketball before him." That's your — that's your friend, Spike Lee.

TERRELL: No.

HANNITY: Is that acceptable language to you, Leo Terrell?

TERRELL: I am not — don't play the — don't shirt the subject.

HANNITY: Is that acceptable language to you?!

TERRELL: World War — black World War II veterans were...

HANNITY: Let me raise it up a notch. Your friend Spike Lee, "Shoot Charlton Heston." You want to defend that, Leo?

TERRELL: Listen, you are trying to change the subject. Nine hundred African-American men who fought...

HANNITY: Spike Lee, "Trent Lott is card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan." Is that acceptable, Leo?

TERRELL: Look, you want me to answer those questions? You want to change the subject, Sean. The issue is very simple. African-Americans were in Iwo Jima. Why did...

HANNITY: Next question about Spike Lee and his race obsession. He said about — after Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophe, he said, "It's not too far- fetched, I don't think, to put past anything the United States government."

TERRELL: I am not here...

HANNITY: Excuse me.

TERRELL: ... to defend all those other issues.

HANNITY: "I don't find it far-fetched that they tried to displace all black people out of New Orleans."

TERRELL: OK.

HANNITY: Do you agree with that, Leo Terrell? I know you're O.J. Simpson's friend.

TERRELL: You know what — what? What about O.J. Simpson?

HANNITY: Well, what about it? Do you think — do you think O.J. is a killer? Do you think he was guilty?

TERRELL: I'm talking here about Iwo Jima, 900 black men serving in that war, fought in that battle.

HANNITY: Spike Lee — I'm asking you if he — Spike Lee plays the race card continually. I'm asking you, if you have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

TERRELL: Why haven't you asked me one question about that movie? Why haven't you asked me one question about that movie?

HANNITY: I'm asking you about Spike Lee, who made an accusation about Clint Eastwood, because he portrayed it accurately in the film.

TERRELL: Why aren't you asking me about the movie?

HANNITY: I just did. Didn't you hear me?

TERRELL: I heard you, and I'm telling you that there were black men who were on that beach!

HANNITY: I agree. And Spike Lee or Clint, maybe one day, should do a movie on it. But that's not what this movie was about.

TERRELL: Listen, in the entire movie, not one black face!

HANNITY: I've got one question.

TERRELL: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: You're friends with O.J. Simpson. Do you think he killed those two people?

COLMES: What year is this? What year is this?

HANNITY: I'm asking. Do you think — you're friends with him.

Hello.

All right.

COLMES: We're now doing stills.

HANNITY: The last time I asked that question, Leo walked off the set. I was just going to see if he was going to do it again. Leo, you're a good friend. God bless you.

COLMES: He's a good friend?

HANNITY: We love you.

Leo is — you're a friend. You consider me a friend, right, Leo?

And we'll continue.

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