Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq trailer was released a few days ago and it’s safe to say that the negative reactions far outweighed the curious and insightful ones. The city of Chicago’s violence woes is an issue that hasn’t touched citizens of the United States in some form or fashion and juxtaposing or even transfixing the topic with any form of humor hasn’t exactly been the smooth swallow producers of the movie may have hoped for.
Lee has been making films for four straight decades now and he’s well accustomed to criticism, praise and has even adapted fairly well into the new form of social media and integrated marketing. So the 58-year-old director is not devoid of thick skin and he has created a new video message to address those who may be getting the wrong idea of the message he’s conveying.
“The [Chi-Raq trailer] was released…and some people are getting it twisted and thinking that this is a comedy,” Lee began, carefully speaking his words as if he senses there will be misquotes down the line. “Chi-Raq is not a comedy. Chi-Raq is a satire. And there is a difference between humor and comedy. In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-Raq. In no way, shape or form are we making light of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence. Don’t get it twisted. This film is about serious business. And there’s many films that we can look in the history of American cinema that treated a very serious subject matter that had humor in them. There’s an old statement: ‘I gotta laugh to keep from crying.’ I think that apropos for Chi-Raq.”
The video message was also followed with an extended outtakes for Angela Bassett’s character that outlined the “serious business” Lee spoke of. Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, John Cusack, La La Anthony and Jennifer Hudson also help round out the cast.
Check out Spike Lee’s PSA regarding the Chi-Raq trailer down below. As you can see, he’s still going to have win over some of the young Chicago rappers ahead of the film’s December 4, 2015 release date.