London, May 21 : Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee has accused Clint Eastwood of upsetting African-American soldiers by not showing even one of them in his films about the Battle of Iwo Jima.
He said that hundreds of black soldiers, who took part in the battle for the Japanese Island in 1945, were conspicuous by their absence from Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.
"There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint for not having one (in the films). That was his version: the negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version," Times Online quoted him as saying at a press conference in Cannes.
Lee even said that Eastwood was aware of the fact that many black soldiers fought the war, but still he ignored them.
"It's not like he could say he didn't know. It was a conscious decision not to have any black people," he said.
When Eastwood's response to Lee's criticism was sought half an hour later, during another press conference for promoting his latest film L'Echange, the question was not entertained for not being associated with the film.
Later, a spokeswoman for Eastwood also declined to comment.