Director Spike Lee has produced a revamped version of the music video for Michael Jackson’s 1996 song “They Don’t Care About Us” with a politically charged Black Lives Matter theme.
Lee, who directed the 2012 documentary Bad, released the new version of the music video on Saturday at his Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson event marking what would have been the singer’s 62nd birthday.
The original video, which was shot in Brazil back in 1999, involves Jackson singing lyrics critical of police brutality and violence, although no references are made to specific political movements. But, Lee’s revamped version features footage of the Black Lives Matter marches that took place following the death of George Floyd in police custody back in May.
Watch the revamped BLM video below:
The updated BLM version also seeks to convey themes of police brutality by using footage of security forces employing force against protesters and spraying them with teargas and other harmful aerosols.
“Great protest songs can’t get old, stale or non-relevant because the struggle still continues,” Lee said in a statement on the updated video’s release. “That’s why THEY DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT US is the anthem during this chaotic, pandemic world we are all living in…To celebrate Michael Jackson’s born day, we have made the THEY DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT US 2020 short film to continue the struggle for equality for all. That’s the truth, Ruth. Be safe.”
The 63-year-old BlacKkKlansman director is famous for his racially charged rhetoric which he often conveys through his films. In March, Spike lee essentially compared black supporters of President Donald Trump to house slaves, describing the president as their “Massa,” a word often used by slaves when addressing their owners.
Michael Jackson’s legacy has also become intensely controversial in recent years following allegations of pedophilia by two men who say they were sexually abused by the late singer at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara. Jackson was cleared of child sexual abuse allegations.