Ask director Spike Lee his one professional regret and he’ll tell you it’s the rape scene in the movie She’s Gotta Have..
In an interview with Deadline, he says:
If I was able to have any do-overs, that would be it. It was just totally…stupid. I was immature. It made light of rape, and that’s the one thing I would take back. I was immature, and I hate that I did not view rape as the vile act that it is.
In the movie, the main character, Nola Darling, is a Brooklyn artist who juggles three different guys. One night, Nola invites one of the suitors, Jamie, over with plans to seduce him, but he in turn rapes her.
The rape scene was criticized by one writer as being “out-of-place” since the movie was a comedy, not to mention the audience was left feeling that Jamie’s actions as justified, as if Nola “asked for it.”
It simply sent the wrong message. Rape is a violent act against women, and no one asks for it. Today, most will argue haphazard rape scenes are insensitive and generally have no place on screen.
Thirty years later, Lee realizes this, too.
“I can promise you, there will be nothing like that in She’s Gotta Have It, the TV show, that’s for sure,” he says.