Later today, at 4:50pm on ITV4, Clint Eastwood stars in Where Eagles Dare. The war movie is a thrilling piece of cinema that explores the history of Nazi Germany.
Years after it was released, however, two of Eastwood’s war films, “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Flags of Our Fathers”, were slammed for not being accurate enough in terms of the representation of Black people.
Eventually, he hit back.
Eastwood released Flags Of Our Fathers, based on the book of the same name, in 2006. It explored interviews with men who fought in the historical World War II battle of Iwo Jima in Japan.
The director released a companion film in the same year, titled “Letters from Iwo Jima” which told the story from the Japanese perspective.
Shortly after the release of the films, the legendary American director Spike Lee hit out at Eastwood.
Lee criticised the films for “omitting” the Black soldiers who fought in that specific battle. Historians reportedly estimated that between 700 and 900 Black servicemen participated in the battle.
Eastwood was not going to take this criticism lightly, however.
Clint Eastwood’s feud was brought to an end by Steven Spielberg
Clint Eastwood had a spat with Spike Lee
Eastwood later responded to Lee’s criticisms with some facts of his own. He claimed that no Black soldiers actually raised the flag during that particular battle.
He then escalated the feud, adding: “A guy like that should shut his face.”
Thus began the great beef between Lee and Eastwood.
Lee, who most recently won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, instantly hit back with a spiteful response.
Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee eventually made up
Lee told ABC News that Eastwood sounded like “an angry old man”.
He added: “The man is not my father and we’re not on a plantation either.”
Eventually, things got nasty, and Lee found himself looking to quash the feud as soon as he could.
While attending a basketball game, Lee approached Steven Spielberg to declare that their arguments ought to come to an end.
Lee recalled meeting Spielberg at the game.
“I said: ‘Steven, it’s over with Clint Eastwood,'” Lee remembered. “Steven laughed and said: ‘I’ll call Clint and tell him in the morning.’ I said: ‘It’s over!'”
Later on, Lee confirmed that Spielberg did indeed get involved in his feud with Eastwood and brought all their animosity to an end.
Lee said in a separate interview: “That thing with Clint was overblown, and that stuff was squashed. We’re cool.”
He clarified: “We never talked, but I talked to Spielberg, and Spielberg talked to him.”
Since then, neither Lee nor Eastwood have publicly spoken out about their feud again.