Steven Spielberg Got Involved After Clint Eastwood Asked An Oscar Winner To Shut Up


Clint Eastwood is one of the most prolific actor-directors of all time. Boasting an incredible filmography of over more than 60 films, the Hollywood legend is well-known for always speaking up his mind despite the waves of infamous cancel culture raging on everywhere in the world.

And if one has been in the industry for as long as Eastwood has been, the waves of cancel culture have touched and tried to drown him more than enough times. Back in 2008, this was especially true when Eastwood told the Oscar-winning Spike Lee to shut his face. Their very public and infamous feud also inevitably roped in Steven Spielberg as a mediator.

When Clint Eastwood And Spike Lee Clashed

Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee are both visionaries of the film industry, having blessed the audience with some of the most incredible cinematic experiences of all time. While one is a 5-time Oscar-winning actor-director, the latter is one of the most influential Black directors of all time in Hollywood.

Their infamous feud began back in 2008 over Eastwood’s two WWII movies— Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers. While at a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Lee had called out Eastwood for having omitted black soldiers from both movies, leading to a fierce public battle of words between the two (via The New Yorker).

The Dirty Harry star, however, had a simple explanation which he revealed to The Guardian, shortly afterward stating that even though there were Black troops, the American flag was raised by Whites as seen in the famous picture that inspired the film. Although both of their claims turned out to be controversially accurate (via The Guardian and Time), Eastwood bluntly told Lee in his interview with The Guardian to shut his face.


Lee again hit back in an interview with, calling the legend an angry old man and throwing shade at him by referring to American slavery culture and stating that they weren’t on a plantation.

How Steven Spielberg Got Involved In The Clint Eastwood- Spike Lee Feud

After being told to shut up by one of the leading figures of cinema, Spike Lee was quick to hit back and did in fact prove his point. However, the already very public feud between the two great filmmakers of Hollywood would have gone longer, had it not been for Steven Spielberg.

While Spielberg was neither an advisor nor a mediator, he helped transfer a crucial message that fortunately put the Eastwood-Lee feud to rest. While talking to The New Yorker, Spike Lee revealed he had gone to a Lakers game where he ran into Spielberg and a couple of others.

During the break time, he ventured over to the Jaws director and stated,

“I went to Spielberg, ‘Steven, it’s over with Clint Eastwood.’ Steven laughed and said, ‘I’ll call Clint and tell him in the morning.’ I said, ‘It’s over.’ He said, ‘Good’.”

As to why Lee chose to go to Spielberg to end the feud instead of Eastwood or someone else, we don’t know, but that was the end of the lengthy disagreement between the two Hollywood legends.

Letters from Iwo Jima can be rented on YouTube, while Flags of Our Fathers can be streamed on Paramount+.