Film legend Spike Lee isn’t playing around when it comes to COVID-19 and plans to take the vaccination as soon as it becomes available to him.
The Malcolm X director told BET that he’s aware of America’s history of using Blacks as human lab rats for medical testing since slavery and the distrust many African Americans have about vaccinations, but that still isn’t a deterrent.
“I know about the Tuskegee experiment. I know about the history of medicine where we are used as guinea pigs,” Lee told the network during an interview on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. “I also know that this ‘rona is wiping out Black and Brown people in this country at a higher rate than anybody. I know that a large majority of first responders are Black and Brown people. And when it’s my time to take the vaccine, like we say growing up in public school in Brooklyn, I’m not trying to cut the line. I’m not tryna jump the line. When it’s time for me to take the vaccine, I will take it.”
The 63-year-old director further explained that he was taking the vaccination, so he’ll be around for his family and that he still has more work to do. Lee also plans to share the experience when it happens so people can see how serious the matter is. “I will videotape it, take a picture of it and get it out because I do believe that we need to take the vaccine to save us,” he added. “I am taking the vaccine to protect my wife, children, siblings and co-workers. This is not a hoax.”
Lee’s Morehouse College brother Samuel L. Jackson received his first dose of the vaccine in January and posted pictures of the event. California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved the state into Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout on Jan. 13, allowing people 65 and older access to the shot. Jackson is 72 and qualified for the vaccine.
On Jan. 20, the Django Unchained star shared on Instagram, “Today was a good day. I have never been happier to wait in a line. If you’re eligible, join me and sign up to get your vaccine. Come with me if you want to live!”