Friday, February 28, 2014


Although this isn’t a movie review, list or an essay, it still concerns Spike Lee (a film director) so it is movie-related in my opinion (go to facebook or huffington post if you want to get in to the issue of Gentrification...)

This morning I saw a New York Daily News article (a counter to Spike Lee's recent rant about gentrification in NYC) that made me raise my eyebrows and do a double take. It wasn’t even the actual article itself that got my attention. It was the cartoonish drawing of Lee with the oversized lips and extra large nose that bothered me. Now...I know it wasn’t the daily news' intention to make a racist/offensive drawing (at least I hope it wasn’t) but they kinda did (or least they're treading REALLY close to racism). If you work in the field of news, history, research, media or journalism, you have to be an idiot to not know a little history of how black people have been portrayed in the past...

Sorry, but Spike Lee's lips aren't that big and neither is his nose. I know those are black features (features I love and embrace) but I find the image at the beginning of this piece to be a little offensive. Now, I'm not so pigheaded to know that the point of cartoon art is to exaggerate certain features and whatnot, but why is that Spike Lee can be portrayed in cartoon form on shows like The Simpsons or The Critic without it being offensive?

Look, I understand his mouth/actions can get him in to (deserved) trouble sometimes, but he's been facing some seriously unnecessary hate/backlash these days. I mean, I disliked Redhook Summer just as much as anyone else and I also felt an Oldboy remake was pointless, but people need to relax a little bit. (WHITE) filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino & Oliver Stone say ridiculously stupid shit all the time and don’t get half the hate that Lee does. Remember when Oliver Stone spoke out against Breaking Bad last year? Let’s get keep it all the way real - had Spike Lee gone out of his way to speak out against everyone's favorite show Breaking Bad, he would have been publicly executed. I know Spike spoke out against Django Unchained (another movie everyone seems to mindlessly love) before seeing it, but guess what - not only is that movie actually bad on a cinematic level, it's also pretty offensive and disturbing. Tarantino had the nerve to say Roots wasn’t authentic and no one batted an eye.

I don't mean to divert people's attention away from the real topic at hand (the issue of gentrification) but when you're a black American with a pretty decent knowledge of the history of your people, like myself, it's difficult to just brush something like this aside and focus on "the bigger issue". In my opinion, this brings up a whole other issue now.

Also, did the (BLACK) person who wrote this article approve this cartoon image of Spike Lee? If so, maybe it's time to call the Drop Squad...

What do you guys think? Am I making a big out of nothing, or am I valid in my concern?


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