Spike Lee Tells Trump to Stop Calling COVID-19 the 'Chinese Virus,' Says He's Putting Asian Americans 'in Danger'

In a recent interview with Variety, director Spike Lee said that President Donald Trump needs to stop calling COVID-19 "the Chinese virus" because "he's putting Asian Americans in this country in danger."

Lee, who also serves as the president of Cannes Film Festival's jury, spoke about how the president should stop calling coronavirus "the Chinese virus" and wondered why no one had asked Trump to stop.

"Stop saying Chinese virus. There's nobody around him to say, 'You can't say this anymore'? That isn't helping at all. Hopefully his base will understand. You just can't say that," the BlacKkKlansman director told Variety.

Lee's publicist and the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.

On Thursday, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux announced that the annual French film festival was going to be postponed from its planned dates between May 12 and 23. Lee said he supported the decision to postpone the festival to possibly June or July.

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Director Spike Lee poses with the Grand Prix award for 'BlacKkKlansman' at the Palme D'Or Winner Photocall during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2018 in Cannes, France. Tony Barson/FilmMagic/Getty

"I agree 100% with Thierry and the Cannes Film Festival," he said. "The world has changed and it's changing every day. People are dying and France's president has said, several times — I'm paraphrasing — 'We are at war.' We are in a war-like time."

While Lee said he'd like to appear at the festival when it's rescheduled, he also said to not lose sight of the seriousness of coronavirus and the global pandemic.

"Let's not forget this is the world's biggest film festival, the world's biggest stage for cinema and I'll be the first black president of the jury," the director said. "So look, I can't pretend [to know] what's going to happen tomorrow. Everybody has to pray, get on bended knee, pray, we get out of this, find a vaccine, get back on our feet — physically, emotionally and financially worldwide. This is no joke. It's not some movie. People are dying."

Lee said that like so many of us, he's been practicing social-distancing with his family and felt sorry for those who may lose their jobs during this trying time.

"We're doing whatever everybody else is trying to do – come together, love each other and just try to ride it out," he said ""People are being laid off. People are being fired. People don't know where their next check is going to come from, how they are going to see their children. When the schools close, who is going to take care of their children? This s**t is crazy. This s**t is bananas."