No sooner did the Wrap report that notable director Spike Lee has been tapped by Amazon Studios to make a movie titled Chiraq did the controversy and backlash begin to grow online because of the movie’s title. It wasn’t Lee who coined “Chiraq,” however. Chicago residents who have experienced the deadly shootings in “The Chi” gave it the moniker of Chiraq. The term combines Chicago with Iraq to compare the violence of the two places, as witnessed in the below documentary video previously released about “Chiraq,” but unrelated to Spike’s forthcoming movie.
Warning: NSFW language is contained in the following video.
Nevertheless, Chiraq is a big coup for Amazon Studios, especially in light of those rumored to possibly appear in the film, a cast that could include Chicago-bred Kanye West, Jeremy Piven and Common — along with stars such as Samuel L. Jackson.
As reported by the Inquisitr, Kanye professed his love for “The Chi” in his “All Day” video, which featured West proclaiming he was coming straight from the south side of the city while holding a flamethrower.
The details of Chiraq have yet to be released, along with any trailers, but that hasn’t stopped the backlash from beginning over the title of the movie.
Alderman Anthony Beale says Chiraq should have a new title, reports CBS Local. Beale adds that he doesn’t care what other name Lee uses for his new movie, but that it shouldn’t be Chiraq due to the violent images it brings forth. The alderman from the 9th ward didn’t make mention of the nickname coming from other sources than Lee.
“That’s an insult to the city of Chicago. I don’t care what he changes (the name) to, but not that one.”
Another politician was more forgiving of the Chiraq title. Senator Dick Durbin said he’d first like to give Spike a chance to explain what the Chiraq movie is all about before passing judgment. Although he says the Chiraq title is worrisome, he admitted he doesn’t know much more about the movie than the title.
Other politicians weighed in on Spike’s Chiraq, reported the Chicago Sun-Times. Although Alderman Beale continued to point out criticisms, claiming Lee was stigmatizing Chicago with the Chiraq nickname, Mayor Rahm Emanuel refused to go that far. The mayor would only say that he’s focusing on the safety of the city.
Ironically, Rahm’s brother is Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood super-agent whose life was the loose basis for Piven’s Ari Gold Entourage character.
[Image via the Inquisitr]