Spike Lee has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of trying to be “a dictator” in a powerful attack on the controversial leader.
The Oscar-winner said the reasons for the current unrest included the deaths of black people like George Floyd but also wider injustices and inequalities.
“It’s not like you’re just born angry,” he told BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.
Lee also said President Trump’s response showed that “he’s a gangster, he’s trying to be a dictator”.
Trump has threatened to send in the National Guard to stop growing civil unrest, and on Monday, he walked from the White House to a nearby church to hold up a Bible, after demonstrators were cleared from his path with tear gas.
Lee said: “I was watching this last night with my family and we were all screaming in disbelief that this thing was staged.
“This show of force – gassing, beating innocent, peaceful bystanders so you could clear the street so you could take a walk to the church. It was ridiculous.”
He added: “The Bible did not look comfortable in his hand, and he didn’t look comfortable holding the Bible either. I have never seen something like that before in my life, particularly with a world leader.”