In an interview published November 25, actress Angela Bassett suggested some Chicago leaders are having trouble with Spike Lee’s film Chi-Raq because they are embarrassed by the gun violence in their city.
“Chi-Raq” is a nickname given to Chicago because the violence in parts of the city is reminiscent of a war-zone like Iraq.
According to The Wrap, Bassett said the “bloodshed” in Chicago’s black communities is “completely and utterly wasteful, shameful, hurtful to the core.” She said that Lee is trying to use his movie “to just bring some awareness….It’s a good picture, it’s very positive.”
Bassett said she had not heard “Chi-Raq” used as a nickname for Chicago prior to being involved in the film, but says she now understands it serves a “nickname for Chicago based on what’s been going on in the community with young black men, children…innocent bystanders dying because of gang violence, and…more black folks dying than in the Iraq war.”
She indicated that many Chicago leaders are not happy with the fact that Lee’s film shines a light on Chicago gun violence. But she said the truth must be told.
She said, “Sometimes you don’t want those outside the family to know that’s what’s going on, but it’s something that needs to be known,” she said. “When you get down to it, Spike loves his community. He loves filmmaking, so it’s going to be a positive thing. It’s for the good.”
Breitbart News previously reported that Lee said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the filming of Chi-Raq as difficult as possible. He said that Emanuel was “a bully” who did not want Lee to portray things as they really are in Chicago. He said Emanuel “summoned” him to City Hall for a meeting, but it did not dissuade him.
Instead, Lee said, “He’s not gonna bully me. My tactic with the mayor–any bully–is to come out swinging.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.