See, President Obama and wife Michelle are just like us–they love a good Spike Lee flick. Twenty-five years ago, the couple went on their first date and went to see the now-classic Do the Right Thing, which celebrates that 25 year anniversary today, June 30.
On Friday night, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted a screening and Q&A with Spike to honor the filmmaker, his iconic film Lee, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D (who wrote the film’s theme, “Fight the Power”) and actors from the film. Before they screened the movie and it was about to roll though, Spike mentioned that there was a surprise for the audience, and set up a video clip of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who reminisced about their first official date, 25 years ago, where they had popcorn and went to see Do the Right Thing. “We had eaten lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, gone for a little walk and then I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about, directed by a guy that not that many people had heard of,” the President said. “He was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker and it ended up being a pretty good movie, it was really great,” Michelle added.
“So Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle, and thank you for telling a powerful story,” Obama said. “Today, I’ve got a few more grey hairs than I did back in 1989. You don’t look like Mookie anymore. But Do the Right Thing still holds up a mirror to our society, and it makes us laugh, and think and challenges all of us to see ourselves in one another.”
“It’s really a testament to your vision and to everyone who helped you to make this movie possible, including the great Ruby Dee who we will remember always,” said Michelle.
Nice. Salute Spike!