Filmmaker Boots Riley is taking aim at BlacKkKlansman… pretty much calling the Spike Lee Joint a fantastical tale that attempts to mask the harsh reality of police brutality against colored folks in American by depicting cops as heroes against racism.
As noted by THR, in a three-page essay attached to a tweet on Friday, the “Sorry to Bother You” director laid out his argument against the film, noting that it’s “a made-up story” in which the cop is the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression.”Lee’s movie is based on real-life policeman Ron Stallworth’s 2014 memoir “Black Klansman.”
John David Washington plays the title character and he infiltrates a local division of the Ku Klux Klan, with the help of a white colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Riley argued the film included “fabricated” story points because the real-life Stallworth infiltrated a Black radical group for three years instead of briefly, as the film suggested.In the essay, Riley noted, “he did what all papers from the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) that were found through the freedom of information act tell us he did- sabotage a Black radical organization whose intent had to do with at the very least fighting racist oppression.”
He added that Black Americans face “actual physical attacks and terrorizing due to racism and racist doctrines” mostly from the police. “So for Spike Lee to come to come out with a movie where a story points [sic] are fabricated in order to make Black cop and his counterparts look like allies in the fight against racism is very disappointing, to put it very mildly.”
Riley also referenced reports that Lee was paid $200,000 in 2016 to work with the NYPD on an ad campaign that attempted to improve relations with urban communities.
“Whether it actually is or not, BlacKkKlansman feels like an extension of that ad campaign,” he wrote.
Read Riley’s full essay below.
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