"Black distributors think my films are not black enough." As Lee says, "Not enough "ghetto", i.e. the rap star shooting his way out of "the game" or "social drama" about cheating spouses" But Lee also finds he is a contradiction as white distributors find his films "too socially conscious for white audiences". That is, expectations for black film are simple action, revenge or exploitation. Lee doesn't fit either category, and thus, the lack of major interest on both sides of the distribution coin.
Until his first major release CODE BLACK, in 2007, Lee had been virtually unknown. His films languished in obscure film fests,Midwestern film premieres, and on-line sites like Indieflix.com. Never quirky enough to interest Sundance, too action filled to be praised in major “refined” film circles, never peopled by major or even sub-major stars, financed totally from Lee’s various day jobs, he has spent every year since 1974 chasing that dream. The dream that one day he could be seen for what he is. Not a black filmmaker, but a filmmaker who makes non stereotypical, well written action films with a message. Nothing more, nothing less.