Spike Lee slammed the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, saying "people are dead now because they did not do what they needed to do."
In an interview with historian Douglas Brinkley, the provocative film director said the infamously slow response to the Gulf hurricane disaster would go "on [Bush's] tombstone." In particular, he blasted former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
"People are dead now because he didn't do his job," Lee said.
Lee has made two acclaimed HBO documentaries about Hurricane Katrina. The first movie, "When the Levees Broke," won three Emmys in 2007. The follow-up, "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise," came out this past summer. Brinkley told Lee he considered the movies "the greatest oral history of what happened at Katrina."
Lee was in Venice for a film festival when the hurricane hit and the levees broke. He said he couldn't leave his hotel room because he was transfixed by the coverage on television. He started work on the project almost immediately after returning to New York.
Responding to Brinkley's questions, Lee spent most of the interview blasting the Bush administration for its failure to respond swiftly to the flooding catastrophe.