Spike Lee's upcoming movie Chiraq has been controversial to some people since before he even started filming it. The title alone, a reference to Chicago's gun violence and the way it makes parts of the city feel like war zone, was criticized by the mayor, community elders, Chicago-based rappers and residents.
The trailer dropped this week and only fanned the flames for those who said that the film was a comedy, making light of the gun violence that has killed a stunning number of young black men in Chicago in recent years.
Well, Spike Lee is here to say that Chiraq is absolutely not a comedy.
"There are very humorous moments in the trailer. Now some people are getting it twisted and thinking this is comedy," Lee said in a video he posted to Vimeo. "Chiraq is not a comedy, Chiraq is a satire, and there's a difference between humor and comedy. ... In no way shape or form are we making light of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence.
"There's an old statement, 'I gotta laugh to keep from crying.' Well, I think that's apropos with Chiraq."
The end of the video included about 90 seconds of new footage from Chiraq that showed some of the movie's more serious moments featuring Nick Cannon, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.
Here's the trailer again in case you missed it this week: