During a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Lee said:
There were many African-Americans who survived that war and who were upset at Clint for not having one [in the films]. That was his version: the negro soldier did not exist. I have a different version. (Alberge)Lee went on to explain that there were blacks who fought at Iwo Jima.
It’s not like he could say he didn’t know. It was a conscious decision not to have any black people. (Alberge)Eastwood fired back in an interview with Germany's Focus magazine claiming the charge was nonsense.
Does he know anything about American history? The U.S. military was segregated til the Korean War, and the blacks in World War Two were totally segregated. The only black battalion on Iwo Jima was a small munitions supply unit that came to the beach.Sources
The story was about the men who raised the flag and we can't make them black if they were not there. So tell him: Why don't you go back and study your history and stop mouthing off! (Reuters Life!)
Alberge, Dalya. "Spike Lee accuses Clint Eastwood of erasing black GIs from history." Times Online. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/cannes/article3972316.ece
Reuters Life! "Eastwood rejects Lee's criticism of his WW2 films." Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSL2360132920080523.