The speech is written. Spike Lee is ready to suit up to accept the 34th American Cinematheque Award.
Yet before he can discuss being lauded by Angela Bassett, Ryan Coogler and Jodie Foster in the virtual ceremony, there's a political matter capturing the "Da 5 Bloods" director's attention. A Wednesday afternoon interview is delayed until after the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time.
"I've been on CNN since 9 this morning," Lee explains, pointing to a large-screen TV during a Zoom call.
Lee, 63, does mute CNN when speaking to USA TODAY about the impeachment vote, his very real upcoming Viagra musical movie and his views on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Question: First, what are your thoughts about what has just transpired in the House?
Spike Lee: This is an historic day, a day that will go down in the history of the United States of America. No president ever has been impeached twice. And Agent Orange will go down on the wrong side of history and as the worst – with a capital W – president in the history of this country. Facts.
Q: There's just a week until the inauguration of a new president, Joe Biden. Are you concerned about how all this drama will play out before then?
Lee: Yes, I'm concerned. Listen to the Republicans talking about healing. But I don't know how we could heal as a nation until justice happened first. And justice, in my opinion, meant he had to be impeached. I don't think a mob should scare anybody. This is not the first mob in the history of the United States in America. Thousands of African Americans have been lynched; there's the term "lynch mob." This is not new. CNN reports that (armed protests) are being planned outside 50 state capitols. But we can't be scared as Americans. Part of seeking justice is not being scared.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) November 7, 2020
Q: A video circulated on social media of you celebrating Biden's November election win by opening a bottle of champagne in Brooklyn. How will you celebrate the inauguration?
Lee: I just want to make it clear: Somebody handed me that bottle. And that was Prosecco. That was not champagne. That's why it did not spray. Not complaining, But it was not champagne, people.
As for the inauguration, that might be Dom Perignon, baby. I might spend a little money.
Q: Your daughter, Satchel, and son, Jackson, have been named ambassadors for the Golden Globe Awards on Feb. 28. Do you think that will be an in-person event or virtual due to COVID-19 in Southern California?
Lee: In my opinion, it is going to be virtual.
Q: Have you been given the chance to take the COVID-19 vaccine? Do you have any misgivings?
Lee: As they used to say in school, growing up in Brooklyn, I'm not going to cut the line. When it's my time to take the vaccine, I'll take it. I'm glad you asked that, though. Because even today, there's a large portion of the African American community and Brown community who are leery of taking this vaccine. I understand. Because historically – with the Tuskegee experiment, among other things – Black people, Brown people have been used as guinea pigs. But I think that this is different. And I hope that when I do take the vaccine that there'll be a picture to document it. At the same time I do understand the concerns, they are legitimate. But I think we have to take this.
Q: Your next movie is a Viagra musical, which is surprising. I just want to know how was that idea pitched to you?
Lee: I’ve been wanting to do a musical for years. And if you look at my body of work, there are a lot of musical elements. So when my producer brother Matt Jackson told me about this script, I said, "O. M. G." So this is going to be my first all-out singing and dancing, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Spike Lee Joint.
Q: What's kind of reaction do you get when you tell people you're doing a Viagra musical movie?
Lee: When my friends told people, "Did you hear the Spike was doing a Viagra musical?" people thought that Spike Lee has lost his (expletive) mind. That Spike has bugged out. But it’s the truth. And it’s going to be great.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spike Lee talks Trump impeachment, COVID-19 vaccine, Viagra musical