Classic Spike Lee joints like “Do the Right Thing” and “Crooklyn” have done an amazing job of showcasing the beauty and diversity of Brooklyn’s historically Black Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Now some Bed-Stuy area teens are calling Spike a sell-out for his Brooklyn brownstone-branded Absolut Vodka ads.

Ads of the limited-edition vodka bottles were plastered across New York City from subway stations to bus stops. The phrase on the bottles read, “A Spike Lee Collaboration.”

The New York Daily News reports that ten teens did research on alcohol advertising in the neighborhood for the Children’s Aid Society during the summer. They’re results found that the logo backed by Spike was the most prominent.

The teens say that Spike took advantage of Brooklyn pride by selling alcohol.

One young lady, 17-year-old Shenel Gunnis, expressed her disappointment with the longtime Brooklyn resident and 40 Acres and a Mule director. “I’ve seen his movies. I was a really big fan. But he lost respect from me.”

Seems Gunnis expected more from the cinematic icon. She tells the Daily News, “You’re not supposed to be promoting stuff like that in areas that can barely afford food.”

Another teen said that it’s hypocritical of Spike. “I thought, Spike Lee, what’s going on here?” said Amaya Santos, 17. “There’s no reason why there should be 28 ads of the same thing in less than a mile.”

The New York Daily News say they tried to reach Spike to no avail.

What do you think about Spike Lee’s partnership with Absolut Vodka? Is Spike capitalizing on BK pride? Sound off!

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  • MW

    I’m a Brooklyn baby. . . and I bought a few bottles of the new Absolut some months ago, one of which remains on my bookshelf.
    While I commend teens for “standing up” and really being conscious, I don’t think this is a worthy cause.
    Spike Lee didn’t “sell out”– much of his money goes back into supporting the very same community he’s supposedly exploiting. For him, it’s a matter of pride and business: I love Brooklyn, why can’t he showcase it?
    To be fair, this is no different than any other Black celebrity endorsing a brand.

    Leave Spike Lee alone: crime rose when Jordan’s first came out. . .no one blamed Mike.

    • Matthew

      all of the “dislikes” on the sensible comments above make me wonder just who’s reading this article anyway. I guess I may have assumed Clutch Magazine has an intellectual demographic.

      oh, and, you can “dislike” this comment, by the way. bless your lil hearts.

    • Fraulein17

      actually matthew no. a lot of these blog/magazine type websites are full of pseudo intellectuals who try to act all super uppity but at the same time super “free spirited”

      (ex.1 acting like they can actually afford $900 shoes celebs wear and if you dont own louboutins or if you even think about walmart then you’re beneath them. ex.2 being a complete slutbucket is “empowering” and ‘liberating”….. until someone gets an STD or HIV) lol

      but all that is besides the point.. so yah um… you did think wrong. aha

    • Matthew wrote: “all of the “dislikes” on the sensible comments above make me wonder… …I may have assumed Clutch Magazine has an intellectual demographic. oh, and, you can “dislike” this comment, by the way. bless your lil hearts.”


      I once erroneously assumed the same thing and thought there was great potentional for it to go in that direction.

      Dead wrong!

      It’s not even worth ‘wondering’ about so best to share your POV, sniggle, then keep it moving. …just letting you know you’re not the only one who noticed and it has become more than clear to a lot of us, Matthew. The level of intellect is painfully unimpressive & worsening and some people live on kiddie games i.e. ‘disliking’ comments simply because they don’t like who wrote them and can’t abide logic, differing opinions, the unvarnished truth or plain ol’ common sense.

    • sloane

      @matthew-and you’re the arbitrator on what’s deemed intellectual or even sensible because….? it’s called a difference of opinion. get over yourself.

  • Dee

    I agree with the teens. It’s not only Spike Lee, but many black celebrities endorsing and partnering with companies which ultimately harm the black community. St Ides = Malt Liquor, Rent a Center = High Finance/Interest Charges on basic home furniture/electronics, Jackson Hewitt – 1 Day Tax Refunds with Extremely High Rates. There are many companies which prey on the black community and use celebrities to do it.

  • opinionatedgal

    I agree w/Clnmike.

    I think that the bigger issue was that it’s alcohol and it’s not only being associated with Spike Lee, it also has the borough of Brooklyn associated with it. Had it just be “Absolut ” and “Spike Lee” I don’t think that there would be as much to critique.

    Spike Lee can associate his personal brand with anything he wants, but once it also linked Brooklyn to a “liquor” than people might feel as though they have to write to chime in, and I think, rightfully so.

  • I agree with the teens. How you gonna try to sell me liquor knowing
    “THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH!” lol ijs