In advance of this weekend’s South Carolina primary, noted director, producer, and activist Spike Lee officially pledged his support for Sen. Bernie Sanders during a 60-second radio ad released on Tuesday. While pointing out Sanders’ consistent views on civil rights, education, and income inequality, Lee has joined actor Danny Glover, singer Harry Belafonte, and former NAACP President Ben Jealous in endorsing the presidential candidate.
“Wake up. Wake up, South Carolina!” Lee began the radio ad while referencing the opening of his 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.” Nominated twice for an Academy Award throughout his career, Lee received an Honorary Academy Award in November for his contributions to filmmaking.
“I know that you know the system is rigged. For too long, we have given our vote to corporate puppets,” Lee asserted. “Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008. And many are still recovering. And that’s why I’m officially endorsing my brother Bernie Sanders. Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he’s not on the take! And when Bernie gets into the White House, he will do the right thing!”
Reflecting on Sanders’ unwavering commitment to protect civil rights and racial equality, Lee rhetorically asked, “How can we be sure? Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr. King. He was arrested in Chicago for protesting segregation in public schools. He fought for wealth and education equality throughout his whole career. No flipping, no flopping. Enough talk. Time for action.”
Joining celebrities, including Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, in endorsing Sanders’ presidential candidacy, Lee has also allied himself with fellow activists, such as Erica Garner and former NAACP President Ben Jealous, in supporting Sanders. Known for making controversial films focusing on race and discrimination, Lee is an extremely influential figure who could end up helping Sanders gain more votes in South Carolina ahead of this weekend’s primary.
“And the months leading up to the election in November will determine which way this country is going to go; forward or backward,” Lee told a crowd in February 2008 when he endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama. “It’s up to you to do the right thing.”
During an interview with CNN in 2012, Lee criticized Congress for failing to live up to the change and hope promised by the president. Lee accused the Republican-led Congress of being “solidified in saying, ‘Whatever you do, we’re blocking that. Every breath we take, we’re going to do what we can that you don’t get a second term. Bottom line. And if it hurts Americans in the process, tough business.’”