On Sunday, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote a column on Brooklyn and its on-screen portrayal in recent years, from Girls to Saturday Night Fever. With a title like "Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?" it was bound to irk at least a few people, but Scott made sure to piss off the one Brooklynite you don't want to piss off: Spike Lee.
Citing Spike Lee's recent arguments on gentrification as a "mixture of hyperbole, provocation and plain truth," Scott notes that Spike Lee now lives in the Upper East Side and is therefore a total hypocrite when it comes to conversations regarding Brooklyn gentrification. Then, he goes on to accuse Lee of being part of the problem himself, writing "nearly everyone who brings up gentrification is implicated in some way, and accusations of hypocrisy on Mr. Lee's part were not long in coming."
It took barely less than a day for Spike Lee to respond in the form of an open-letter, oddly posted through his Instagram. Writing that Scott's argument is "OKEY DOKE," Lee debates that he can live literally anywhere and be a Brooklyn resident at heart, even outer space, because he has grown up in Brooklyn and New York at large since he was three years old.
Mr. Scott, what you fail to understand is that I can live on The Moon and what I said is still TRUE. No matter where I choose to live that has nothing to do with it. I will always carry Brooklyn in my Blood, Heart and Soul. Did anyone call Jay-Z a Hypocrite when he helped with bringing The Nets from New Jersey to The Barclays Center in Brooklyn at the Corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue?
Lee goes on to list a number of celebrities who have formed and still hold Brooklyn's identity, from Woody Allen to Mos Def, even if they don't technically live in it anymore.
In closing please understand it's what you get growing up and learning on the Streets of Brooklyn that empowers you to go anywhere on this God's Earth to "Do Ya Thang" to be successful in the path you have chosen. It doesn't matter where you choose to live because Brooklyn goes where you go.
Now if only A.O. Scott would realize, in the words of Notorious B.I.G. that "SPREADIN' LOVE IS THE BROOKLYN WAY."