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Spike Lee Weighs in on the Casey Affleck, Nate Parker Controversy: ‘It Was a Dirty, Low-Down Shame’


Armie Hammer made headlines once again this week when he compared Casey Affleck unfavorably to Nate Parker, in whose “The Birth of a Nation” Hammer co-starred. He later apologized for his remarks — which had to do with Affleck (who settled two sexual-harassment lawsuits) winning an Oscar the same year that Parker (who was accused of rape in college) appeared to lose all his career momentum — but someone else was paying attention: Spike Lee.

Lee was asked about the situation in a Daily Beast interview, responding in typically fashion that “there were some shenanigans there” and “it was a dirty, low-down shame.”

“[Affleck] settled several times,” says Lee. “I don’t know the exact details of it. One day, someone’s going to write a book about that whole thing, because I’ve never seen someone fall so quick. I just find it strange that on the same day, Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported [on Parker]. There were some shenanigans there.”

On the subject of a producer sabotaging Parker by leaking documents, Lee says that “I know who it is. I’m not going to say who it is. But they do that type of stuff. [‘The Birth of a Nation’] was a film that they knew was a lock, so they had to come up with some dirt to knock it out,” he continues.

“And they were very successful. It was a dirty, low-down shame. A dope-fiend double-cross. It’s still a great film, too. I’ll go on record and say that’s a great film, and I said it the first time I saw it at Sundance.” Read the full interview here.

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‘Paddington 2’ Is Now the Best-Reviewed Movie in Rotten Tomatoes History


Paddington loves marmalade sandwiches, and critics love Paddington — so much so, in fact, that “Paddington 2” is now the best-reviewed movie in Rotten Tomatoes history. The movie is 100% “fresh” on the review aggregator with 167 reviews, meaning it’s now surpassed “Toy Story 2” (which has a paltry 163 positive notices to its name). “Lady Bird” briefly held the same record last year until a single negative review came along; Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed coming-of-age drama now has 217 positive reviews total.

Paul King, who directed both “Paddington” movies, had this to say:

“The ‘Paddington’ films are a real labour of love. So many people pour their hearts and souls into them for months or even years, hand-crafting every last frame, and we are all incredibly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far. We hope it inspires people to go to the cinema to see for themselves if a talking animal film really can be any good, and whether Hugh Grant really can look devilishly handsome even while dressed as a nun. (Clue: yes.)”

Ben Whishaw voices the beloved bear, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson, and Julie Walters co-starring. “Paddington 2” is now in theaters.

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