Movie director Spike Lee has attacked the way Hollywood portrays blacks on film, claiming African-American cinema is stuck "in a ghetto".

The DO THE RIGHT THING film-maker deems black cinema a long way off achieving equal footing with mainstream productions - because storylines are still too focused on drugs and hip-hop.

Lee - who was speaking to 1,700 students at the University of North Carolina - singled out comedy BARBERSHOP, which features jokes about MARTIN LUTHER KING, and prison drama The Green Mile for containing "super-duper magical mystical negroes".

The 46-year-old said, "They had magic powers that couldn't change their situations, but could only help the white stars of the movie. What's the point?

"Black film is still in a ghetto. There are broad comedies and hip-hop drug things. It's difficult as a director or actor to go outside of that."

04/02/2004 21:19