It appears that the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan is worried about how he’ll be portrayed in Spike Lee’s latest joint, BlacKkKlansman.
The project is based on a true story in which a Black police officer, Ron Stallworth, teams up with his white colleague to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth ultimately became the local chapter leader, and it seems, a trusted associate of Duke in this great display of conmanship.
So it came as no surprise that Duke recently called Stallworth to share his concern about his portrayal in BlacKkKlansman, out Friday.
“He wanted to talk about the fact that he’s concerned about how he’s going to be portrayed in this film,” Stallworth told host Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, sitting beside Lee. “He’s only seen the trailer, and in the trailer, it makes him off to be a buffoonish cartoonish idiot.”
Holt asked if it was a fair depiction.
“In some areas, yeah. Spike made him look kind of stupid, but he was stupid in how this whole thing transpired 40 years ago,” Stallworth replied. “For me, 40 years ago with a high school diploma and 20 college credit hours, to con him the way I did and make a fool out him…It was funny back then. It is still funny to me even now.”
Surprisingly, Stallworth added that Duke also complimented Spike: “He said I’ve always respected Spike Lee, which surprised the heck out of me.”
“That’s a compliment I don’t need,” Lee quipped.
BlacKkKlansman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France earlier this year to a 10-minute standing ovation. Watch the trailer below.