Spike Lee posted a video to Vimeo yesterday (November 5) to address criticism he has received over the trailer for his forthcoming Chi-Raq film.
“The trailer was released and there’s very humorous moments in the trailer,” the director says. “Some people are going to twist it and think that this is a comedy. Chi-Raq is not a comedy. Chi-Raq is a satire. And there’s a difference between satire and comedy.”
The film is an adaptation of the Greek play Lysistrata set in inner-city Chicago. The city is sometimes referred to as “Chi-Raq.”
“In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-Raq,” Lee continues. “In no way, shape or form are we making fun of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence. So people, don’t get it twisted. Don’t get it twisted, this film is about serious business. There’s many films and we can look in the history of American cinema that treated very serious subject matter and had humor in them. This whole statement, ‘I gotta laugh to keep from crying,’ I think that’s apropos with Chi-Raq.”
Many rappers including Lil Durk and Lil Bibby, took to social media to share their thoughts on the trailer, calling it a “parody” and a “prank.” Vince Staples joined in the discussion and said Spike Lee is “coocoo for cocoa puffs.” Rhymefest expressed his disapproval by saying “a comedy is being made about death in Chicago.”