Spike Lee Should Stick to Movies Instead of Stirring Up Violence & Hate

So Spike Lee posted the home address of an elderly Florida couple to his 250,000+ Twitter followers, via a retweet that erroneously claimed it to be the address of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman. And now he's saying that people should leave the justice to the court? COME ON.

To Lee's credit, he's apologized for the false information he published ("I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address. It Was A Mistake. Please Leave The McClain's In Peace. Justice In Court"), but that hardly makes up for the damage he did. It sounds like the couple, David and Elaine McClain, were utterly traumatized by the incident—they even had to flee to a hotel to escape the hate mail and threats that came their way.

Lee isn't exactly known for shying away from racial controversy, but when you look at his own history of inciting violence and hatred, I wish the guy would just stick to movies ... and think twice before he speaks. Or tweets, as the case may be.

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I mean, let's revisit some of Lee's past gaffes:

• In 1990, he claimed ''I couldn't make an anti-Semitic film.'' Asked why not, he said that Jews run Hollywood, and ''that's a fact."

• In 1999, he said of NRA president Charlton Heston, "Shoot him with a .44 Bulldog." He later claimed it was meant to be a joke, and said he had no reason to apologize.

• In 2004, he shared the opinion that Larry Bird was the "most overrated player of all time," thanks to the "white media."

• In 2008, he called Clint Eastwood an "angry old man," and berated him for not depicting black soldiers in his Iwo Jima films (even though he was wrong about that).

Really, the list goes on and on. No one can deny that Spike Lee is a smart filmmaker who often includes pointed political messages in his movies, but he certainly seems to lack a filter when it comes to public commentary.

Frankly, I think what he did to Elaine and David McClain is no different than a hate crime. While he didn't write the original tweet, his thoughtless actions put two innocent people in danger. Not to mention the fact that he was basically inciting mob justice—why ELSE share what he believed to be Zimmerman's home address? So people could send flowers?

The McClains are asking for a formal retraction from Lee, and I think that's the very least he could do at this point. In fact, I think he should take care of that business ... then get back to the business of making movies. I'd say he has a better shot at success in that department than in honoring Trayvon Martin's death.

What do you think of Spike Lee's Twitter apology? Does it make up for what he did to the McClains?



Image via Flickr/chicagofabulous

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