Spike Lee Hits Back At Criticisms Over New Film
Director Spike Lee is hitting back at criticisms his new film Chi-Raq is making light of the violence in Chicago, Illinois, insisting he is trying to highlight the situation.
The trailer for the upcoming movie hit airwaves earlier this week and many fans took to social media complaining about the film’s satirical premise, including rapper Rhymefest, who wrote, “I think it’s irresponsible. The overwhelming majority of people on the South and West Side believe this is foolishness…”
Lee has now responded to the criticisms, explaining he takes the violence in the city very seriously.
“Some people are getting it twisted, and thinking this is a comedy,” he said in a videotaped message on Twitter. “Chi-Raq is not a comedy. Chi-Raq is a satire. There’s a difference between humor and comedy. In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that’s happening in Chi-Raq. In no way, shape or form are we making light of the lives who have been murdered in this senseless violence. People, don’t get it twisted. This film is about serious business.”
“There’s an old statement: ‘I have to laugh to keep from crying’,” he continued. “I think that’s apropos with Chi-Raq.”
The Do The Right Thing director has faced criticism since announcing the film earlier this year and in May, Lee and star John Cusack met with families who have been victims of gun violence in the city.
Lee titled his latest project after a controversial nickname given to the city in recent years, an amalgamation of the name Chicago with that of war-torn Iraq, due to the rise of violent crime in the region.
The film will focus on the troubled neighborhood of Englewood.