Spike Lee lashes out at Trump at Cannes

Director Spike Lee lashed out at President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE on Tuesday for his response to last year's deadly white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va., saying the president missed an opportunity to denounce racially motivated violence.

"It was a defining moment and he could have said to the United States and the world that we’re better than that," Lee told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival, after the premiere of his latest film "BlacKkKlansman," according to The Associated Press

Lee said that Trump ignored "a chance to say we are about love and not hate," and instead blamed "both sides" — hate groups and counterprotesters — for the violence in Charlottesville. 


Trump came under fire after the Aug. 12 "Unite the Right" rally, which turned violent when white supremacists clashed with counterprotesters, who turned out to oppose racist groups.

One counterprotester, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed during the protest after a white supremacist allegedly rammed a car through a crowd of people.

Lee included the footage of the car plowing through the crowd in his film, but said that he first called Heyer's mother to ask for her permission.

"I was not going to put that murder scene in the film without her blessing," he said, according to the AP.

Lee also said that racism and far-right ideologies are not unique to the U.S., and cast it as a worldwide issue. 

"This right-wing [expletive] is not just America. It’s all over the world. And we have to wake up," said Lee. "We can’t be silent. It’s not black, white, or brown. It’s everybody. We all live on this planet, and this guy in the White House has the nuclear code. I go to bed thinking about it."