Filmmaker Spike Lee is not giving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam any free passes for a photo of men in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan uniform on his 1984 yearbook page that surfaced last week.
In an interview with Politico published Thursday, Lee, whose film “BlacKkKlansman” was nominated for six Oscars, highlighted the history of blackface in the U.S. and how it is inappropriate no matter what the decade was.
Politico asked Lee, “So if people are telling lies, but then they learn the truth, do they get a pass? Like this governor in Virginia, does he get a pass, because now he may have learned something?”
“Three words: Hell to the naw,” Lee replied while laughing, according to the news site. “Two words: Hell no.”
“Not H-E-L-L. HAIL, no,” he continued. “Let me put a little Virginia on it, a little Virginia sauce. Hail no! [Laughter] It’s interesting that all this happens in Virginia, the cradle of the Confederacy. And let me make it deeper for you: This year, 400 years ago, the first slaves were brought on the James to Virginia—1619. And we need to start talking about that.”