Will Spike Lee’s Chiraq give Chicago a bad name?

Chicago city officials worried new film will paint the city in a bad light.

Chicago city officials worried new film will paint the city in a bad light. Image by Mike Procario / CC BY-SA 2.0

Early this week Spike Lee’s film crews have been spotted out and about in Chicago preparing to shoot his latest movie, Chiraq. The name has caused controversy with city officials urging Lee to change the title of his movie to something less negative, fearing its release will damage the welcoming image of the Windy City for visitors. The term originated as a nickname used by local rappers and is a reference to the gun violence that left many residents feeling like they lived in a war zone. Last month Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, told the maker of such films as Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X that he was ‘not happy’ about the name. Others have counter-argued that the subject matter is highly relevant. Local pastor Rev. Michael Pfleger has said ‘There’s been a huge amount of controversy and outrage over a movie title. Where is the outrage over the violence? It is unacceptable to me.’ In a news conference held in May, Lee urged his detractors to wait until the film was made before making a judgement. Read more: nytimes.com

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