The latest Spike Lee Joint is all about Uber drivers

Yes, they were paid for their participation.

Uber apparently has a lot of money to fight an ongoing public relations battle. The beleaguered ride-sharing company has enlisted... wait, what? Spike Lee has directed and produced five new short films (also called commercials) for Uber called, wait for it, Da Republic of Brooklyn.

The five films are subtitled for Uber drivers in Brooklyn (that Uber paid for their participation), including an aspiring actress, and art restorationist, a serial entrepreneur, a "passionate carer" for animals and a hairstylist (and mother of two). The auteur apparently chose the featured folks by himself out of thousands of Uber non-employees in the area.

"I was attracted to this project because I know a lot of people who drive on the Uber platform and it gives them the flexibility they need to pursue their dreams," wrote Lee in a statement. "That's how we do it in Brooklyn – that's the Brooklyn hustle."