David Duke Is Apparently Worried He Looks Like an Idiot in 'BlacKkKlansman'

The former Klan leader called up Ron Stallworth, the cop who the film is based on, because he was "concerned about how he is going to be portrayed."
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
August 7, 2018, 4:08pm
Photo of David Duke (L) via AP photos. Screenshot of Ron Stallworth and Spike Lee via NBC.

Spike Lee's latest film, BlacKkKlansman, is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, a black undercover cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan back in the 1970s and conned his way to the top of a chapter in Colorado—climbing high enough to make contact with the Klan's then Grand Wizard, David Duke. Duke has apparently been keeping tabs on the movie—and according to the real-life Stallworth, he's worried that BlacKkKlansman is going to make him look like a "buffoonish, cartoonish idiot."


In an interview with Lester Holt on NBC, Stallworth explained that Duke called him at home a few days ago, which shocked the hell out of him. The professional racist-cum-fringe politician had phoned to tell Stallworth, of all things, that he had seen the trailer for BlacKkKlansman, and that he was "concerned about how he is going to be portrayed in this film."

The conversation somehow got even more surreal from there, when Duke told Stallworth that he's "always respected Spike Lee." Obviously, that's a bizarre thing to hear if you're a director who's been at the forefront of representing black life on screen for decades—or as Lee put it simply, "a compliment I don't need."

Duke is being played by Topher Grace, who despite sharing a vague resemblance to the white supremacist, said preparation for the role was "the worst month of my life." He was apparently so depressed after filming that he sat down and edited Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy down to one, two-hour film as a "a great way to relax."

"He’s a guy who is full of hate," Grace told Deadline of Duke. "You play bad guys, but you never really play truly evil people on screen."

Duke will just have to wait and see how gullible, idiotic, and/or virulently racist he looks in BlacKkKlansman when the film hits theaters on August 10—but if he was worried about looking stupid, he probably shouldn't have put on a white hood in the first place.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.