"Is that the only thing black women can talk about is getting f--ked," he tells Newsweek of the Kelsey Grammer-produced comedy, described as an urban Sex and the City. "And then the show had black men holding their johnsons and looking into the camera smiling. What white show has white men grabbing their nuts and smiling into the camera?
"And why do all the black people have to sing and dance in the opening sequence?" he continues. "The subtext is, 'Lord, we're so happy we on TV."
Lee, whose latest film, Bamboozled, satirizes the media's depiction of blacks, says that there's no longer any excuse for African-Americans to degrade themselves on national television. "My people have to wake up and realize what's going on and our responsibility in it," he says. "I mean, back in the day we didn't have a choice. Hattie McDaniel and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson didn't have a choice. Nowadays we don't have to do this stuff. So anything you do is on you." A UPN rep had "no comment" on Lee's remarks.
The folks at Girlfriends shouldn't take it personally though. In the Newsweek article, on sale this week, Lee also slams Ving Rhames and Cuba Gooding Jr. for the way they accepted awards. (Rhames gave his Golden Globe to Jack Lemmon and Gooding did a back flip after winning his Oscar).
"When you give an award to a man you never met in your life, what do you expect? That sent chills down my spine, to see him do that to an award he earned," groans Lee. "The same with Cuba spinning on his head. What was that? But you notice neither has stopped working since. That kind of entertainment will keep you working."