Spike Lee put Bedford-Stuyvesant on the cinematic map, but some teens think he sold out the neighborhood with his Brooklyn-themed Absolut Vodka promo.
The kids did a survey of alcohol advertising posters and billboards in the area and found the logo designed by Lee dominated.
"I've seen his movies. I was a really big fan. But he lost respect from me," said Shenel Gunnis, 17.
"You're not supposed to be promoting stuff like that in areas that can barely afford food."
She's one of 10 teens who scoured Bed-Stuy this summer, mapping booze promos for the Children's Aid Society.
They tallied 56 and were surprised that Lee's limited-edition label - featuring the stoop of a Brooklyn brownstone - was the one that popped up over and over.
Frank Moore, 19, said he'd like to tell the "Do the Right Thing" helmsman that's just wrong.
"I'd be like, 'Why? Do you understand what you're doing ... that you're putting up an ad for liquor and you know there's an alcoholism problem here?'" he said.
"My thing with Spike Lee is you should use your prestige and position of power to help the problem, not add on to it."
Lee did not return a call left at his office and hung up on a reporter who reached him on his cell phone. A spokeswoman for Absolut had no immediate comment.
The limited-edition bottle rolled out last summer is emblazoned with the phrase "A Spike Lee Collaboration." In the ads, the bottle is superimposed on a photo of Brooklynites on stoops.
The teens felt Lee was trying to capitalize on borough pride.
"He was targeting us when normally he would make movies that would uplift our community," said Krystal Chapman, 17, a senior at the High School for Public Service in Crown Heights.
"I think it is hypocritical."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Teens trash Spike Lee over Absolut Brooklyn ads.
Well, at least he's not marketing Spike Lee joints. From NY Daily News: