AceShowbiz - Boots Riley has slammed Spike Lee's movie BlacKkKlansman in a lengthy essay, accusing the veteran director of revising history to paint the police as heroes.
The Sorry to Bother You director, who has gained critical acclaim for his debut movie, which stars Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield and Armie Hammer, shared his thoughts on social media last Friday, August 17, prefacing it by saying that he holds the highest respect for Lee, who inspired him to take up filmmaking.
However, he criticised BlacKkKlansman, which is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, a black detective who infiltrates a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with his white partner, played by Adam Driver.
Calling it a collection of "fabricated story notes" which attempts to makeover the police as "heroes", Riley continued: "It's a made up story in which the false parts of it try to make a cop the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression. It's being put while Black Lives Matter is a discussion, and this is not coincidental."
The rapper, producer and now director is critical of the movie's storyline, which he views as an attempt to portray the police in a more favourable light in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, and says it is designed to ease relations between black people and law enforcement.
Riley also questions the truth of Stallworth's memoir, which he claims was written to "put himself in a different light" and Lee's subsequent adaptation, which included incidents in the movie which did not take place.
"There was no bombing that Stallworth or the police thwarted," he added. "This was not in Stallworth's memoir. That was made up for the movie to make the police seem like heroes."
He further alleges that in reality, Stallworth was a member of the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro), "whose objectives were to destroy radical organizations, especially black radical organizations", and that "there was no directive to stop the rise of white supremacist organizations".
In closing, Riley referenced the fact that Lee received $200,000 (£155,000) from the New York Police Department in 2016 "to help in an ad campaign that was 'aimed at improving relations with minority communities.'"
"Whether it actually is or not, 'BlacKkKlansman feels like an extension of that ad campaign," he wrote.