Spike Lee Fired As Director Of James Brown Film; A White Guy is Going to Replace Him

sdopsdpoww2By Victor Trammell

Critically acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee was hired as the writer/director for an eventful movie bio-pic about the life and times of legendary soul singer James Brown.

Shortly after James Brown’s death in 2006, Lee was signed on as the visionary leader of the project by Brian Grazer, a wealthy veteran television and film producer. Grazer is the c0-founder of Image Entertainment, a multi-billion dollar film production company. Lee was able to cast Eddie Murphy in the movie to play James Brown.

In an interview with Black Tree TV, Murphy said he agreed to play the part largely because of Lee’s script, which he called a “great, great piece.” However for unsubstantiated reasons, Grazer fired Lee as the writer and director of the upcoming James Brown bio-pic. To replace Lee, Grazer hired a marginally established white film director named Tate Taylor.

Taylor is only known for directing two films, which were Pretty Ugly People (a box office flop) and The Help (a condescending cliché film about race told from an oppressor’s perspective). Getting the inexperienced Taylor at the creative helm of a movie that tells a story as extensive as James Brown is very risky and will probably produce lackluster results in the quality department.

Lee on the other hand is a seasoned filmmaker who is responsible for the masterpiece Malcolm X, a timeless classic about one of the most influential black leaders in American history. Lee could definitely produce the same classic result in a film effort about the life of the man known as “The Godfather of Soul.”

Many blacks will probably cry the foul of racism over Brian Grazer’s decision to fire Spike Lee from the job he was given to help tell a black man’s story. However, until more wealthy black people open up more of their own big time movie production studios, they will always be under the thumb of their white counterparts in Hollywood.

Case in point: Tyler Perry. Love him or hate him, Perry has his own production studio and never has to wait on white financiers in Hollywood to give him a shot. The success he experiences has the Brian Grazers of the world crawling to him to get in on the action. Not the other way around.

182 Responses to Spike Lee Fired As Director Of James Brown Film; A White Guy is Going to Replace Him

  1. Commiserations Spike!!!

    Gotta’ learn the hard lessons folks!!!

    After 400 years down in Egypt – to be delivered by MOSES* was not enough of a lesson…

    Brothers then sold out our own to be enslaved again for ANOTHER* 400 years…

    HELLO… It’s the 21st century and y’all still haven’t learnt “JACK”…

    p***y-footing around – “egos” hermetically sealed in a self-imposed “BUBBLE” believing the hype of their own “godhood”…

    Every other ethnic group including “CAUCASIANS” (who incidentally are also a minority group) have learnt the fundamentals of what Al Green called – “LET’S STAY TOGETHER”: “through the good, bad, happy or sad!!!”

    So Houston, we have a problem!!!

    Interestingly, TP was mentioned as the antithetical poster-boy “child” who have successfully navigated the turbulent and treacherous waters of VENICE* Hollywood (LOL)…

    Well, Mr. TYLER PERRY personally admitted that were it not for JESUS CHRIST* on his side – there would be no success… Regardless of what you feel about him – the guy has carved out a niche for himself and for other “BROTHERS” who need to understand the “POWER” of “UNITY”…

    The primordial problem with Black Folks* is that they still haven’t learnt how to live, love, work, build, own & “RUN” things amongst themselves for the betterment of all of their own…

    EVERY MAN IS STILL AN ISLAND!!!

    Marcy Garvey gave the Black Race a model – if financially rich guys like Spike Lee, TP & all the Black money-spinners in the community cannot see the writing on the wall, something is seriously wrong – then as the Book reminds us “if Daniel, Job or Moses were in the land; their righteousness could save neither son or daughter…

    So “Good” luck folks…

    I leave with this sure word of prophecy:

    “What you fail to do in a time of peace and safety – you will have to do under much peril”…

    • What niche has TP carved?…lol and what lesson will spike learn?…lol Them n****s came to him to do the Movie and not the other way around…plus who is talking about Egypt?…Moses?…u have ur biblical history confused with actual world history and then some…not all bad but u speaking in terms most will look at and say what?!…lol keep trying but just don’t be overzealous…

    • Sandra E. Forster

      ……AND PERIL seems to be what all of us: the so-called minorities (like US) and real and growing majority (like US) seem to want and….. like.
      ……I hope we all will fight for what is RIGHT for SPIKE. Perhaps Spike is just WAITING for us to do and TELL HIM…..at his peril.

      Sandra…not prophet or profitor

    • Why in the heck should any middle or lower class black give a rats azz about these uppity self serving n8ggahs who stole the lion’s share of our civil rights movement wealth, and most dont even care enough about black people to marry black and keep the wealth in the community, or build a school in America, or create a chicken shack franchise to create jobs for the same blacks they run to for help when whitey takes their job???

      Most of all I’m sick of how they create NO JOBS with their black wealth, leave us at the mercy of whites for money, and STILL HAVE THE NERVE TO BEG US TO BUY THEIR RECORDS AND GO TO THEIR MOVIES! YOU PUT NOTHING IN, AND YOU CANT GET NOTHING OUT DUMMY!

      WE GO DOWN, YOU GO DOWN.

  2. We must Invest in Ourselves for Profit and Social Good. The Partnership between Tyler Perry,Spike Lee,Oprah Winfrey,Denzel Washington,Russell Simmons,Forrest Whiticker,Lawrence Fishburn and other Heavy Weights can pool their resources to Purchase their own Movie Studios and Film the Life and Stories of Famous Blacks,so that they can Present The Life Stories as told by Blacks,from our own perspective…This is very important,because there is a Misrepresentation of our Culture and of our Life Stories, because our Stories are Not being Told by Us.

    • Very well said, just wish it can become a true reality…so sad that we just can’t get together as a whole instead of waiting on jobs that we just don’t get casted for! God Help Us As A People…

    • It would be nice if the big money makers like the ones you mentioned would pool some of their funds but beloved you have to realize as we all do that even though they have the same skin color as us they are not part of the same team..They are part of a system that if they even attempted to do something like that their wealth would be destroyed and their life would be at risk…I think we as black folk think the world is one way when in fact we just understand the superficial part or the part that is on the surface…When in fact various systems operate outside what is on the tv and radio…Same goes for politics…Voting don’t mean c**p…How many years have we been voting??…How is that working out for us?….There are systems for the ignorant and systems for the people in the know or who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the people who are in the know..

  3. AAs should boycott this James Brown mess.

    Better yet, Tyler Perry and Spike Lee should collab and do their own James Brown. Whites stole all of our creativity–rock and roll, jazz, mathematics, the almanac, medical procedures such as blood transfusions.

    • I don’t think so after Spike demean and defamed Tyler!! Even if Spike doesn’t agree with Tyler he did just what the white man wanted like crabs in a barrel. Spike is very talented but he runs his mouth too much and he got what he deserved.

  4. Affirmative wise brotha, Who Is nothing being, but the artifacts of Christianity reality, hinders the likeness there of, were all are Created equal, where the lost started from primitive Biblical authority invested, where the body n blood is who lives inside us, Who is Jesus Christ, the Voice of Prophecy , Speaks who does Hear n obey, you are his messenger, the White life, u must realize, is nothing but the casualties of what don’t recognize, abuse , wears Black skin themselves working against themselves, being brainwashed, w/slavery as it’s teaching, swept from NO understanding..who rules are the Bible, man
    did to everyone, Color challenges, HATRED describes..a repeat ,
    leading ourselves, excepting nothing else..Whose in Charge…God
    said, He Who IS without SIN, cast the first Stone..Man judges his
    likeness emulates,what God Gave forth, the kingdom forever…
    Peace targeted, Righteous equality, who lives til this day…

    Questioned…WHO Lives , remains his own Worst enemy…Sorry to say..
    the Readings of Job.David n peter, I Question , what Does MAN identify himself2…Peace, Proper, Be blessed… Sheila(create)

  5. Don’t go see the movie!! You have to hurt a White man in his pocket money is the only thing he understands! Blacks keep your green money in your pocket when it comes to this movie!

  6. Your ending comment about what blacks with wealth need to do sums it up in a nutshell! With al the black multi-millionaires and billionaires on the scene now, there is no excuse for Spike Lee or any other black filmmaker to have to be subjected to being fired by a white guy.

  7. But Lee has enough $$$ and connections that he could have produced a film on Brown without outside influences, black white or pink, but he didn’t do it.

  8. keep both barrels loaded

    THIS FILM NOT GET MY OR FAMILY SUPPORT PERIOD…NOT ONE RED CENT!!!

  9. >>The Help – a condescending cliché film about race told from an >>oppressor’s perspective

    Really? Was it really that bad? Didn’t it help in some small way show white people the hypocrisy and stupidity of southern white racism? I can see that you might not think it was the perfect film from the black perspective, but was it really all that bad?
    This statement seems a bit over the top. Shouldn’t this director’s effort be judged after he’s finished with the project? I’m a white guy, a fan of Spike Lee, and support all black aspirations, struggles and justice, but shouldn’t you be judging fairly and not knee-jerk reacting? We don’t know the details of why Spike Lee was fired. Maybe it was not fair, but shouldn’t opinion of the new director be based fairly on his merits and not unfairly based on anger at what happened to Spike Lee?

    • That’s the PROBLEM…your a white guy! When have you ever been BLACK??? Then, save your white privilege (dis-ease) for something other than instructing Black people!

      Furthermore, “Movies are not about Blacks, but what Whites think about Blacks” Ralph Ellison, author of the Invisible Man

      check it out…if you really want to learn something!

  10. keep both barrels loaded

    THIS FILM WILL NOT GET MY OR FAMILY SUPPORT PERIOD…NOT ONE RED CENT!!!! Spike lee is one of ours

  11. Point taken about Mr. Perry havinv his own studio. Why couldn’t Spike go to Mr. Perry and have a movie about an iconic black man written, produced, and filmedby a black studio? That is my biggest problem with black Hollywood, they don’t really stick together just like the black community as a whole. Tell me if there is a different story here. Look if we as black consumers want quality black entertainment we must demand it by not supporting trash that makes us look stereotypical. That is the only way we will get the quality and the Image that we need put out. I don’t know about anybody else but I’m tired of black people looking less than everbody else.

  12. I will not see that film!!! We have to stop supporting people who do not care about our interest. We need to come together and get our own!!!

  13. Uh no Carlos is right and Tyler doesn’t really make good movies in my opinion, but he is owned by the Jews as well..with no distribution power owning a studio means little that’s like having a car with no money for gas…u can’t go anywhere…but hey they could link up not a bad idea…Spike has the same amount of money if not more and can use a guy like Tyler to bring in a younger fan base also..but Tyler is whitewashed somewhat with little substance outside his plays..but I’m all for any black production being done!..

    • Spare Me the Baloney

      Absolutely whitewashed!

      At the end of the day, no matter how much money they have and whatever they own…the true master is the white man…he shall give and take it away! That’s why they haven’t done anything so far. Tyler was warned…kept setting his studios on fire last year!

      KKK back then, KKK right now

  14. As an independent filmmaker I respect Spike Lee and Tyler Perry because they tell our stories whether biopics or silly Madea films so well. Without Spike at the helm of the James Brown project the story won’t be authentic. So watch my film “CHILD $UPPORT” instead!

  15. Why not get busy writing another script, get investors and make a ‘different’ James Brown movie. The real issue is Spike doesn’t like Tyler. That’s always our problem isn’t it?
    There are other actors who can play JB.

  16. All I hear my people here , are the same reframes of amim corner of yester-year. Same old , same old. Too much talk is the foolishness of folley.

    Today most black folks are talking and supporting each other the “I’m with you on that one” and “I agree”. Action, do something . White folks what they want as long as we let them, and afraid to put an end to centuries of oppression . If we don’t began there will be no end to this long torment.

    Have we become accustome to pain and agony? Yes, most of us have, thinking nothing can be done about oppression, not true in the least.

    Accept for short moments in our history have we put up a real fight to gain some dignity. And a few crumes are given and a few lives are lost we stop the process and become complacent , we fall into a more horrible condition than before.

    Look at the state that our young people are in today, pure ignorance and belligerence, two of the worst combination of human derogation that leads to death and destruction. Think, say little , and act. We are what we know. We must learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable as Jesse Jackson said many years ago.

  17. I give many props to Spike Lee for his past achievements as a film-maker, however, I’m tired of hearing about black folk yelling “racism” when the decision by Brian Grazer could be a business decision rather than one based upon racism. Afterall, he would not be as successful if every decision he made was based upon racism or ‘d****n’ someone out. I’m sure Spike Lee is mature enough and savvy enough to “get paid” for what work he has already put into this production. If Mr. Grazer believes that he can make this film absent of Spike Lee’s participation, then its his money and let him waste it accordingly. If folk don’t want to support the film because Spike Lee got “the boot”, then it is everyone’s perogative to do so. I think that we need to start thinking with our heads rather than our “feelings” about issues, God has given us both intelligence and emotions (spiritual discernments), we have to learn when to use the ‘proper’ tools when deciding upon our own destiny and survivability. All these comments about us “uniting” to get ahead is a waste of time when you take into account that many of us ‘look into the mirror’ and don’t see our own imperfections. Once we began to focus on “self” improvement, maybe then we can begin the process of coming together for the greater good of our community. In the meantime its just ‘wolf-cookies’ and saying things that we really don’t believe.

  18. It would probably be a good idea for Spike and Tyler to go together in on this film. But Spike may need to play by the rules. He is not the big dog, Tyler may have something better.

  19. I won’t be watching such a movie about the Godfather of Soul. Despite his money, Brian Grazer cannot tell the story of James Brown.

    I hope that Spike Lee and Tyler collaborate and do their own story about James Brown and support that cause.

    I am quite sure that Spike Lee is not crying about his termination.

  20. As some of the Facebook commenters have pointed out, there might be more to this story than meets the eye. Directors, actors, and supporting actors (black and white) get attached to projects in Hollywood everyday, and then you find out that they are no longer attached, the project is no longer going to be made, the financing fell through, there was a scheduling conflict, or a studio head changed and killed the project, etc. I love Spike Lee’s movies, and he is a major talent whose stories need to be heard. Years ago, Jesse L. Martin left the original “Law and Order” series, so as to make a biopic of Marvin Gaye. I don’t know what ever happened to THAT movie. Last I read, Lenny Kravitz was going to play Marvin Gaye in a biopic. So, we really won’t know the true story, until, as one of the FB posters said above, Mr. Lee expresses himself and let’s us know the full story. Glenn in the Bronx, NY

  21. Spike needs to ask Tyler,Oprah & Eddie should not do the film.To help
    finance the movie.Oprah help finance Malcolm X.To the young lady who
    posted that Spike was not around.It is better to be thought a fool than,
    to speak out & remove all doubts.

  22. Well its not that Lee makes that Great of a movie either but in James Brown case I think he would be excellent for this movie to be created so on this note I wont be supporting this movie either.. I think this film director is going to make a big box office flop.

  23. Popa got a bran new bag, Get on the good foot, Please, Please, Please Popa don’t take no mess, Hot Pants, Big Payback, s*x Machine, Living in America, Super Bad, and Say it Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud.
    We all should commit to a weekend of playing Our Godfather of Soul music, and salute the Greatness of his resilience, his outstanding talent, and his business savvy.
    We can break it down to a ever lasting tribute to James Brown for years to come; versus some bean counting box office hit or miss non sense- that is the norm of all movies that come and go. Oh- don’t forget the DVD’s.
    What if Mr. Lee and Mr. Perry create a movie and project the cause and effect of Americas Penal institutes on our youth.
    Why can’t we matriculate to a mindset of changing the conditions of our people with the media at hand.
    We are the entertainers of the world– can we advance to becoming the leaders of our communities?

    Peace

  24. I don’t like this type of BS! Black People We need to put our Money where our Mouth is! If you wanna see Certain Movies told by US you have to Dig into your pocket books & Wallets! Negroes dig in their pocket when they wanna buy some Dope??? We throw away Money but are the Most Poverty stricken & you wonder why! Support that which is positive & throw away the Swine movies by the industry! We will have to raise money for the Films that We want to see & Melvin Van Peebles has shown us the way! Independent film making cut these crackers out of Black Money & keep that Money with other Blacks this is our Story to h**l with you Sell-out Homos(Tyler Perry) and you Go along to get along Negroes! You not even a Man but are a bunch of Two Ball Bytches! Get out the way f*g we want to tell the Nat Turner Story! Scared a*s Negroes

  25. I got soul!

  26. If you want a Peach tree(Spike Lee),you do not plant a Banana Peel (Brian Grazer)…!

  27. I have said this before on other comments; it is time and a great opportunity for African American artists especially in film and music to organize themselves and create their own independent creative industry servicing the “Brick” countries where the audience population is much larger and would be more appreciative of American Black talent and artistic skills.

    The financial foundation (many are very rich) and expertise exist (stars with awards), I don’t understand with this new era of global expansion why African Americans still nest in a tree where they are not welcomed and cloned with restrictions as in slavery. They need to Band Together and entertain the world with their talents.

  28. What a ting what a ting. Spike Lee an artist Perry a f*g so the 2 can never resolve creative differences a one is a visionary the other a perpetrator of racist stereotypes& misogyny

  29. Would like to know why Sike Lee was fired.

  30. you miggiss iis crazy yall be runnimg to see the mafuggan movie you is all soopit!!!

  31. I would like to hear whatever reason Grazer has given for firing Spike Lee. I have always admired Lee; he is one of the few black people who have made it big in the film industry. I am not inclined to watch this James Brown film if Tate Taylor is at the helm. This is not because he is white, but because his film resumé as described here does not recommend him in the best light. I’d be interested to know how much Tate knows about James Brown. Surely he wasn’t hired for his knowledge? I think that most of us would agree that Lee- with his strong background of black history and culture films (although not everyone agrees with the contents of those films) would be better placed to direct this piece about Brown. I think that this is very disappointing. No disrespect to any director of any colour, but the more films we have from a black perspective a viewpoint that is seriously under-represented and undervalued), the better. As I say, I am not really interested now that Lee is not there.
    I agree with the last part of this article on Tyler Perry- thank God he is autonomous and is not subject to the whiles of men like Grazer.

  32. Wow!

    Of the 313,914,040 U.S. population (estimated by the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau) blacks people are 13.1% of the U.S. population. That’s 40,808,825.2 black people. So, let me understand this. It’s is being thought by some that 40,808,825.2 human beings of one persuasion are being expected to agree on anything that can’t be proven as a fact? No matter the expectation, is the belief that any majority of any group of individually thinking people are going to come to a consensus on the “who, what, why and how” of Spike Lee being “removed, fired, let go, not retained, or not preferred—you can pick which ever of those reasons or use your own, as the writer-director of this version of this film about James Brown?

    Really?

    So, the rights of people aren’t considered as a right to their own belief? The right of a subject that is an art-form that is based first on being a profitable business decision first and art second, to be governed by the opinion of those who have no investment in the business-art that may or may not be made?

    THE LIST

    As far as my search via every Internet search engine or movie business site, I could not find a list of “The All-Time, Highest Grossing or Attendance of Black or African American Films in America. I wonder why, but I won’t assume why. But that being said I did search for “The All-Time, Highest Grossing or Attendance of a Films in America. Of the Top 100 on the list I found from IMDB.com there were four films with a black actor or actress as the lead. (Side note: Remember when people of color in America had the “war of words” about the moniker “black vs. African American” as the “correct” way to refer to people of color? I doubt very seriously there was a consensus on which moniker was the “correct” one to use. Remember, ones race is not a corporation needing one offical name to be used, nor is a race a club—no matter how you cut it. Every race has disagreements within that race. Why? Because the freedom of “thought” is based first on feelings many times or facts many times or both or other reasons many times. To disagree that is an inherent right as an individual first and foremost. So why must it be viewed as a right or wrong? It just is.

    So those four films with a black actor or actress as the lead are No. 41—”Independance Day”, $306,124,059, No.78—”Men in Black”, $250,147,615, No. 92—”Beverly Hills Cop, $234,760,500, and No. 98—Hancock, $227,946,274. Yes, that’s three with Will Smith as the lead actor and one with Eddie Murphy as the lead actor.

    THE LIST II

    As I thought about this whole “Spike was fired from James Brown biopic” and the above “business results” based on factors of the artistic-side: story, actor, word of mouth promotion to name a few categories. And the results based on the factor of the business-side: production budget (both “above the line” and “below the line combined dollars), ad budget, time or season of the release, number of theaters, films released during the same week to name a few categories I see that there are many things that go into the making of a film. Business is based on success. It’s not a social experiment. That’s regardless of the business. Whether its a snow-cone stand or a Fortune Top Ten business.

    PONDER THIS.

    So before people tear each other a “new one”, lets look at 5 of the “Nations Top 10 black-owned companies”.

    http://www.theroot.com/multimedia/nation-s-top-10-black-owned-companies

    No. 1—World Wide Technology Inc. —$3.2 biilion
    In 2010, revenue rose 45 percent to $3.2 billion as demand from the public and private sectors soared for this Maryland Heights, Mo., firm’s technology products and consulting services. David L. Steward, chairman of the board, founded World Wide Technology in 1990. Prior to working at WWT, Steward, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Central Missouri State University, was a senior-level manager at Federal Express, Wagner Electric and Missouri Pacific Railroad.

    No. 2—CAMAC International Corp. —$1.5 billion
    Last September, President Obama enlisted a seasoned entrepreneur when he appointed Kase Lawal to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiation. In 1986 the Nigerian-born chairman and CEO of CAMAC founded his company, which has annual revenue of about $1.5 billion to explore, develop and operate oil properties. Lawal, who has a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MBA, worked as a chemist and a chemical engineer prior to starting CAMAC in Houston.

    No. 3—Bridgewater Interiors LLC —$1.1 billion
    The Detroit company, a tier-one supplier of motor-vehicle parts and accessories, is in a tough industry. Its joint-venture partner, Johnson Controls, a technology and industrial company, owns 49 percent of the business. Ronald E. Hall Sr. has been CEO at Bridgewater since its 1998 launch. The company, which had revenue of $1.1 billion in 2009, is known for its high-quality work on popular Ford and General Motors vehicles.

    No. 4—ACT-1 Group —$1 billion
    Companies with staffing, human resources or business concerns turn to Janice Bryant Howroyd for her expertise, and she has built a firm with nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. The North Carolina A&T University graduate founded ACT-1, headquartered in Torrance, Calif., in 1978, and is CEO of what is now the nation’s largest woman- and minority-owned employment-services company. Howroyd is the author of The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work for You!

    No. 5—ZeroChaos —$700 million
    If you name your work-force-management company ZeroChaos, you better deliver. Harold F. Mills is CEO of the Orlando, Fla., staff-services firm, with annual sales of $700 million. The company has customers in 14 countries. In 2010 the Orlando Business Journal hailed the former Ameritech executive as one of its 40 Under 40 leaders. Mills has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Follow him on Twitter.

    That’s a total of $7.5 billion in revenue for the Top 5 black owned businesses.

    The total gross revenue for the Top 5 owned businesses total $335.4 billion.

    At 13.1% of the U.S. population and viewing these numbers based on a factor of one—race, shouldn’t that $7.5 billion of the Top 5 black-owned businesses be $43,602,000 billion?

    But, aren’t other factors a major issue in the success in dollars and “sense” when it comes to business? Things such as the product offered for sale, competition, maturity within the business category, history, longevity, size of market in which the business competes in and other factors?

    FINAL PONDERING

    I doubt very seriously if the owners from either list look at their success within their category based on race first. Why? Because they are too busy being successful to give the analysis a major consideration in what they do. Success is about facts and numbers first. Not about race first. Frankly if someone thinks they can make money selling products or creating films they will pursue it. And they will do it based on their belief in their ability to be successful. Even if its success comes based on getting profits from a perceived “enemy”. Their “feelings” about that “enemy” will be way down the totem-pole of pursuit.

    CONCLUDING

    Art is about art first and profits second. There are more “starving artist” than successful ones. And as rights go, in both intances it’s their sandbox and they as the owner have the right to include whoever they choose to “play” in it.

    Films are about profits first and art second. There are more “starving film companies” than successful ones. And as rights go, in both instances it’s their sandbox and they as the owner have the right to include whoever they choose to “play” in it.

    Art is art.

    Business is business.

    Race is race.

    Spike Lee critizied the decision of Steven Spielberg directing “The Color Purple”. That was his right from an “art” point of view. Did the final product have financial success? Yes. As a business it’s about profits first and the decision makers looked at who, what, when and how and gave the investors the greatest chance on ROI.

    The film had a budget of $15 million (estimate). Its box-office gross was $98,467,863. So, on a budget of $15 milliom the movie grossed $98,467,863. That’s quite of a Return On Investment. (Spielberg’s most successful film in box-office gross was E.T. at $435,100,00) An investment based on the factors within business, first. Not based on race.

    Spike Lee’s most sucessful film in box-office gross was “Inside Man”. Its had a budget of $45 million (estimate). Its “first-run box-office gross was $88,504,640. It had three times the budget as “The Color Purple”, yet made about $10 million dollars less. Remember that’s Spike’s No. 1 grossing film and Spielberg’s No. 1 grossing film is 5 times that of Spikes. That’s not right or wrong or fair or unfair. It just is what it is. Both have been afforded a lifestyle that a huge majority can only dream about.

    Like any business profits trump almost everything to the investor.

    Whether that is right or wrong it is up to each individuals view.

    There will always be those in any group that will feel what they feel, facts be d**n”.

    If you’re looking for a consensus, good luck.

    • @ BeeTheKing

      This was one of the reasons why I wanted to know first why Spike Lee was fired.

      I can agree, it can be considered a little premature at this point to say that his firing was based on race as I think on many occasions we as a people come to these conclusions based on our own personal understanding & experiences of racial discrimination and one may not consider Spike’s situation any differently within that capacity.

      The producer Brian Grazer appointing Tate Taylor as the replacement on the grounds of experience & knowledge alone at this stage can and should be scrutinised particularly as from the inception of the project Spike was brought in on the movie based on his knowledge & experience, but unfortunately due to capitalism we know that ultimately this doesn’t mean shyt when it comes to the man with the money!

      The information you provided was definitely useful and I learned a lot from it, however I don’t think it was appropriate to the actual matter at hand as I think your response could also be considered as premature.

  33. The penultimate paragraph of the article is definitely true; if we don’t have enough brothers or sisters with deep pockets in the industry we won’t be able to approriately tell our stories, and situations like Spike’s will continue to happen.

    There are significant numbers of Black people in the entertainment industry who are more than capable of being producers/executive producers etc but unfortunately many of them who are in this sector lack collective vision and are simply too busy just “gettin’ paid” and doing their best to be recognised and respected by their white counterparts.

    Somebody like Stephen Spielberg can produce & direct something like Schindler’s List simply because he has no reservations when it comes to doing something for the jewish cause by culturally expressing a major part of his community’s history through film.
    Guys like Francis Ford Coppolla and Martin Scorcese can produce & direct movies like The Godfather I II III and Goodfellas simply because they have no reservations when it comes to doing something for the Italian cause by culturally expressing a major part of his community’s history through film.

    Spike Lee is probably the only Black director in history who pretty much came close to what the aforementioned has done on a grand scale. This was evident with the Malcolm X movie when Warner Bros. wouldn’t give him the sufficient amount of cash that he was entitled to have to finish the movie.
    However the likes of Tracie Chapman, Janet Jackson, Bill Cosby, Prince, Magic Johnson etc gave him the money to finish the project.

    Financially, as entertainers we have come a long way since then and you’re telling me that we can’t do the same thing today for Spike as we did back then in the early 90s ???

    People like Dr. Dre, P.Diddy, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Denzel Washington etc can’t muster up some expertise and finance between themselves(won’t mention Tyler Perry because he pretty much is doing this!)???

    We have the experience and the money yet we do NOTHING about addressing issues like this???

    God Dam#n Shame!!!

  34. Marilene Crosdale

    I wouldn’t dare to speculate about the reasons behind the removal of Spike Lee, as director and replaced by another director; what’s his name?
    But spike Lee and Gazier may have come to a point where working together on that film has become impossible. So why shouldn’t they agree to disagree? If one is interested in the life of James Brown they will be intereste in the film regardless of whom directed it. Let’s hope the new director shows he can empathize with the life of James Brown because his career is definitely on the line now.

  35. I like the idea of a possible collaboration between Spike and Tyler posted earlier; I was saddened to learn of their artisical differences had reached a new low level. We need to incorporate the mantra in all of our daily living For Us By Us!

  36. Herman Hawkins Jr.

    James Brown was my favorite artist when he was alive. However I am puzzled that we ourselves didn’t push the idea of a movie about the Godfather of Soul. When we leave devices to others only bad things can happen and this is the result. If only Spike could have financed the movie himself then he could have pushed it from his point of view. That being said, I WILL NOT WATCH THE MOVIE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!

  37. s**t what better man can make a movie about James Brown than Spike Lee ,I definetly won,t be watching any white washed version of it.Maybe Oprah,Bill Cosby and all the rest of these well off celebrities should chip in and help get the movie made.I know it would be a masterpiece.

  38. It was probably a clash of egos between Spike Lee and Brian Grazer. I believe that the film, no matter how good, would be better with Lee directing. To replace Spike Lee with someone like Tate Taylor almost guarantees that the result will be a lackluster effort. Let’s see whether we’ll have a hit or a flop.

  39. Now if we really want to make a statement, here’s the picture that should be BOYCOTTED…….Grazer is probably going to make this biopic for the small screen. Still boycott it!!!!

  40. Spike,doesn’t like Perry so therefore he is a has been. This was bound to happen to him the way he down graded Tyler Perry. God Will make your enemies your footstool. I was never a fan of Spike,he is a good director,but he has to watch how he belittle people. Karma is a mother.

  41. Why can’t Spike Lee & Tyler Perry work together?
    I They should put aside their differences to tackle this project!

  42. This just goes to show that Black’s really, and I mean really do love and worship the “PERVERTED CATHOLIC”…

    Jealousy, Hate, and Rage play a major role within our race…just look at Jesse Jackson jr as he allowed greed and power to rule his world…he wanted so much to be like the “PERVERTED CATHOLIC” that he sold his soul…it became so bad he now suffers from a mental disease, which is a fake illness…

    Basically, he got playing a GAME he did not know how to PLAY!…

    He should have been helping his people, his race…that said, SPIKE LEE and many other Black’s are the same; they take after the perverted catholic…

    Just look at some of the Black politician’s (Mayor’s) that are going to prison for abuse of POWER!

    Everyone in this race is a sell-out, you just do not know it, know exactly how the perverted trained you to be…

    Sad, indeed, very SAD…………

  43. If Spike can get rid of his “crabs in a bucket” mentality against Tyler Perry maybe he wouldn’t have to worry about getting fired! Tyler would allow him to make ANY film he wants at his studios if he starts with an apology and being more respectful!

  44. I agree with Tee. What is this Spike vs Perry thing about anyway?
    Is it just jealousy or what?

  45. Rev. George Brooks

    GOOD!!! I’m glad he was kicked to the curb, because Spike Lee should not be tied in with those Jew “leeches” in the first place, but ought to be doing running his own movie business. Or tied in with Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, and trying to get them to do better and more bold black movies, instead of that slavery, Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima stuff that Perry and Winfrey continue to do. GET AWAY FROM THOSE leeches, as Michael Jackson finally found out about, which most likely had something to do with his death. With Dr. Conrad Murray being blamed for the whole thing, even though he came in far late in Jackson’s drug addition life, which the Jews, and others, were there with him and helping him get his drugs. So Spike get your own version of James Brown, and speak out against these kikes, as Micheal also called the Jews, about how they don’t really care about us black folks. But you need to get a ton of other blacks to join you in your battle against them. I’ll be the first to join, because I’m already talking against these anti-Jesus Jews, each and every day. — Rev. George Brooks

  46. Surprised, but not shocked!!! Black people don’t forget where you are and how you got here!!! Jews take care of the jewish thing, gentile whites, likewise, Italians, do Italians, etal.; blacks well…!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Here is where we come in. Support Brother Spike Lee. Do not spend your money to go see that Movie.You work too hard in the hot sun picking cotton on the plantation for your money.I bet you that concnocker would not pull that noncense on European Jews and anything to do with so called Israel. Brother Jesse Jackson allegedly refered to New York as Hymie town and them Jews have not forgiven him up to today and New York is a Hymie Town big time.

  48. As a sixtyeight year old Black musician I have been on stage with James Brown and The Famous Flames, played his tunes , danced to his jams,watched his videos. There is no way a white person can know and feel Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud, The Big Payback, Please Please Please, Bring me That Lickin Stick and the list goes on .
    If producers want an authentic movie depicting James Brown get somebody in the industry that knows the man and his music.
    However it ain’t about that, its about the money somebody getting somekind of an award or recognition. Really folks if we take this kind of bs then we are through.

  49. Did Spike does not need for you all to come to his defense. He is a 55 year old man. He is also losing his mind. Spike is of the project because Spike dragged his feet. And as far as the author of this piece of s*** story; you criticize a movie like the help, but you excuse monkey faced Jay Z, T. I., and all those other s***** assed rappers who are nothing more than modern day minstrel show performers.

    You all need to stop completely absolving black people no matter what and blaming somebody else for every d**n thing.

  50. If Spike Lee, or another worthy and proven black director isn’t telling our story than it SHOULDN’T BE SUPPORTED….Although Tyler Perry does own his own production studio, he will NEVER, EVER produce any film that would raise the conscious level of black folks, to a level above being mentally and spiritually dead.

    Tyler Perry is considered in the industry a safe Negro…. the day he’s ever thinks about stepping out of his cage to create something other than his usual watered down illustrations of black folks struggling conditions, and situations

    (((((THEY)))) (The owners of Hollywood ” Zionist, so-called Jews”) would pull the plug on Tyler, Oprah Winfrey, or any of your other “Superficial Superhero Negro’s…….

    my apologies to anyone that has been offended by my comments. Insulting people is not of my character, but to tell truth, and give a voice to those who are too cowardly or afraid to speak would be my MO….peace

  51. Spike dropped the ball and sat on the project for 6 years. That’s his fault, not white folks fault. He is a big boy who doesn’t need anyone speaking up for him.

    And, the project is a biopic, mea or not is not even nearly as bad as a support most of you guys give toninvg a TV movie, so you are correct, you will not be buying a ticket to see it. the ‘Help’ was not a bad movie at all. All of you who criticize it probably love movies by the only modern-day minstrel show director in the business, Tyler Perry. And those other embarrassing, shuckin’ and jivin’ minstrel performers, Jay Z, T.I., Lil’ Wayne, etc., along with all the other gold grilled, tattooed, car jacking, liquor store robbing, drug dealing, pants sagging, multiple fathering of children, losers are more damaging to our race today than any white person.

  52. Oh, stop your whining. Tate Taylor will do a magnificent job.

  53. LOL…SPIKE LEE DONOT NEED TO HOOK UP WITH TYLER PERRY,BCAUSE HE WENT TO O,W. FOR HELP LADY OF OWN NETWORK,AND SPIKE LEE FILMS,MOVIES SPEAKS OUT.DO YOUR BLACK HISTORY..TYLER PERRY TALK s**t MS.O.WINFREY LIKE BLACK FOKLS,THAT COME FROM THE GHETTO(ITALIAN WORD) OMG SHE HAD J Z ON HER SHOW ,WALKIN THREE MARCY PROJECTS…THE BOTH OF THEM…wakeup!!! PEACE

  54. After all this time dumb a*s MF’s don’t see a good Investment when they see one, if I had some real money,(120 Million) I would jump all over this. We are talking the “Godfather of Soul” The “Man” with no excuses, The ” First One” to do it like no other. Black Folks are scared to get up off that wallet and depict this Movie the way it should be. We live in a fearful world financially but Dam this brother is worth the wrist. This could be one of the greatest Entertainer stories of all time.

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