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Spike Lee & John Ridley Do the Riot Thing

12/6/2006 5:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Ridley and LeeAfter Michael Richards' racist invective at an L.A. comedy club opened a new discussion about race relations in America, Universal Pictures is getting into business with a pair of pragmatists who don't fear a frank discussion of the N-word.

TMZ has learned that director Spike Lee is coming aboard a new film from Imagine Entertainment about the run up to the L.A. riots of 1992, and the aftermath, with a script written by John Ridley ("Three Kings" and "Undercover Brother").

It's been fourteen days since Richards harangue went viral, but over 14 years since a predominantly white jury acquitted four cops who were videotaped beating motorist Rodney King. On parole for a robbery conviction, King led cops on a high speed chase, then finally pulled over. Videotape showed him resisting arrest, with the LAPD tackling, tasering and beating him. The acquittal of the officers proved too much to bear, and it uncorked a spree of looting, arson and murder; 55 people were killed in L.A. on April 29, 1992.

If Ridley's propitiously timed article, entitled, "The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger" (now in the December issue of Esquire magazine) is any indication, his script probably won't give L.A. rioters a free pass based on shared skin color.


"...That which retards us is the worst of 'us,' those who disdain actual ascendancy gained by way of intellectual expansion and physical toil, who instead value the posture of an 'urban,' a 'street,' a 'real' existence, no matter that such a culture threatens to render them extinct. 'Them' being niggers. I have no qualm about using the word nigger. It is a word. It is in the English lexicon, and no amount of political correctness, no amputation into 'the n-word' -- as if by the castration of a few letters we should then be able to conceptualize its meaning without feeling its sting -- will remove it from reality. So I say this: It's time for ascended blacks to wish niggers good luck. Just as whites may be concerned with the good of all citizens but don't travel their days worrying specifically about the well-being of hillbillies from Appalachia, we need to send niggers on their way."

Lee has already weighed in on the L.A. riots in a previous film, albeit obliquely: The opening credits of his 1992 movie, "Malcolm X," show footage of the Rodney King beating.

More recently, the director has been interested in present-day social justice and race relations, exploring the abandonment of impoverished black New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as seen in his HBO documentary, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts." Interestingly, the subject of black looting was again raised.

In "When the Levees Broke" Lee repeatedly interviews a 42-year-old woman named Phyllis Montana LeBlanc, a resident of N'awlins Lower Ninth Ward. "There were two things I asked Spike when we first met," LeBlanc told Newsweek, "First I asked him, 'Are you going to tell the whole story and make it clear that all black people aren't poor, ignorant looters?' And then I asked if I could cuss." She laughs. "When he said yes to both, I said, 'Hot damn, we've got a deal!'"

Universal didn't offer immediate comment other than to confirm the deal after checking with a spokesman for Lee.


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2878 days ago


it is always about predjudices against African Americans....lets see wasn't a white man by the name of Reginald Denny beat senseless by a group of African Americans because they were retaliating against the verdict and participating in the is always about Rodney King...why is that?

2878 days ago


TOMEI - What the hell is wrong with you?! Spike Lee has arguably made some of the most socially controversial movies regarding race relations in the country! He doesn't just tmake movies to entertain, he makes movies that make you think. You are an IDIOT for making such a statement!

2878 days ago


if the theme of this upcoming movie even hints at or includes this quote from the Screen Writer from the TMZ story:

It's time for ascended blacks to wish n*ggers good luck. Just as whites may be concerned with the good of all citizens but don't travel their days worrying specifically about the well-being of hillbillies from Appalachia, we need to send n*ggers on their way"

than I think both whites and blacks will find a common ground...if not, than it will be the same old sympathetic feel sorry for the poor black man story that seems to have kept poor blacks in a unique place for decades since the Civl Rights Act of 1964....blacks who have ascended have left it and begun lives anew, blacks who have "chosen" to not ascend continue to simply pass it on to the next generation...and "chosen" is like any poor white too, not taken education seriously, clowned around, drawn attention to themselves, taken on role models that dont encourage ascension.

I normally dont appreciate Lee movies as they have been biased with one view...if he follows the Ridley view I shall embrace such work.

2878 days ago


spike lee need to quit!his movies aint all that either!let dave chappel or the murphy brother and paul mooney
make a skit about michael richards!racist bastard!

2878 days ago


First off f*** reginald denny......what has gone on since this whole Kramer incident in the black community is disturbing....I'm actually going to be alive to watch the end of the black "community" and begin to watch the assimilation of my people into an hypocritical, deceptive, lying, neurotic , schizophrenic culture that by sheer force SELFISH will has forced us to demonize those within my race for what? To feel better about we are SEEN by another group of people??? It is not about n*gger vs. ascended black people. That is a f***in stupid ....our own "educated" are actually debating this??We
ve now gotten to the point where now n*gger is now an acceptable term for those of our complexion because we are tired of how they reflect on us??..What about those that point the finger in the first place ...Nobody is paying attention but we are being forced as a race to choose sides about how we are going to be VIEWED???? If that isn't sick then I don't know what is.....What about who is doing the VIEWING??? ....What about who is doing the actual judging? Are we not able to withstand the negative assault on our character as a whole rather than throw off what is perceived as negativity? What is the next debate Ascended black vs ascended black americans??? Divide and conquer and it is actually working.....this is sad sad sad......

2878 days ago


Spike Lee . . making an impartial movie? Ha ! I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. That's not Spike's MO. . .he's a race baiter and a rebel rouser who likes to stir up the pot and then collect the money from the box office while on his way to the front row at Madison Square Garden. The only irony in that is his beloved Knicks stink worse than his cinematic efforts. It's not in his makeup. . .to tell the WHOLE story. He just . .can't. .do it.
His efforts on the Katrina "victims" was a fucking joke. No where were indications of random snipers firing at the same Coast Gaurd helicopters the hypocrites castigated for not picking up the denizens. Guess the Coast Gaurd wasn't prepared for an assualt from the thugs and criminal element that made New Orleans a teeming pit. Mother nature just lent a helping hand. Of course Spike couldn't find it in himself to ask Mayor Ray why he didn't use sitting buses to move people out sooner. . .or why that blathering idiot governor Kathleen Blanco needed "24 hrs to sleep on her decision" to evacuate. Missed that one eh Spike?
As for the LA riots of '94, total mayhem and civil disobedience. Ridiculous slaughter and bedlam that served NO purpose for the "cause". All it did was to create a deeper chasm between the races. I have no sympathy for the idiot cops who went overboard on Rodney King. But I have even less for the mobsters who beat Reginald Denny senseless. Savages. This may Spike's last chance to "get it right". Do the right thing Spike. Tell it like it is. Give peace a chance. But I'll bet the farm that this never happens. Wouldn't be Spike.
I never could figure out why looters and criminals would burn down their own neighborhoods. The shops, the malls, the grocery stores. And had it not been for armed Koreans on top of their businesses . . .shooting back. . the pristene buildings of Brentwood and the upper echelons would have felt the torch of those despicable despots. Tell that Spike. You have a wealth of GOOD data to shoot. Only.. . my bet is. . .it'll be the same ol' shit . . . just a different day.
However, I will offer Spike a new script. . .and one that could set the issues straight. . . tell us WHO really killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Come on Spike. . .I dare you. You hypocrite.

2878 days ago


The comment regarding Reginald Denny was totally uncalled for.

2878 days ago



Oh so you want to keep everything status quo, life is just fine for who the socio/eco group that is most often referred to in the negative sense as "n*ggers"?

You;re shocked? So am I. That anyone would want to keep things the way they have been under the guise of and gibberish of whose doing the "Viewing". So while rome burns, nero fiddles. Poor blacks stay where they are because the do gooders and love everybody types than wont have others to pity. Get a grip sir, we've tried that approach and its only gotten worse.

F*** Reginald Denny? F*** you too sir.

2878 days ago


first of all i'm not getting in a f*** you back contest but you know what it is.....nobody said a word about maintaining status quo....i'm saying WE as in my black people need to uplift and teach our own and deal with our problems without worrying about what the f*** somebody else has to say about what they feel about black people.....a lot of the problem is people have a hard time being black because of the negative perception but instead of addressing the problems within our community they demonize it and separate from it which is what american tried to do with us years ago and the sh*t doesn't work......we need to not be concerned with how white america feels about blacks but instead be concerned with how we feel about us.....this involves self-discipline and growth and not submission to image and can play the game without playing yourself....f*** what a racist or whoever thinks about what i am ...i define who i am ....and we define who we are.....they think iit starts with them but it really starts with us...... be your own...quit let some little bitch tell you who you your history....and if you tired go to sleep bitch....

2878 days ago


and like i said f*** reginald many n-bombs you think he dropped after he picked himself back up from that brick to the head....f*** that bitch....

2878 days ago

Queen Bee    

tmz...why is it that you are forever playing on the racist views of the world. When Mel Gibson spewed his hate, that was all you read about on this site and every white person was pro Mel....then Michael Richards come along and to shift the light from him, you find stories to feel the hate on this board by posting what black actors, singers, comedians are doing (unlike the whole Mel and Jews thing in which we didn't see you shift the light from Mel to any Jews who might had said anthing outside of the realm of what is right). To me, I see a racist blogg writer who loves to see people dual with each other calling one another racists so you can just sit back and laugh at the remarks. For this, you have lost a reader and you yourself should be ashame for fueling racism in your readers by continuing to write on things that typically wouldn't had even shown up on your blog if it wasn't for Michael Richards hate spew.

2878 days ago

Joe Simpleton    

I think most importantly we really need to know what the guys said to Richards to get him going. I've heard a whole lot about what he said, but nothing about what they said to him. I'm going to assume it was something along the lines of "you're all washed up - after Seinfeld you're nothing." Conjecture on my part, I know... The point being: I think those lads most likely said some pretty damaging things to Richards, and being like just about anyone else he retaliated with the best he had. Do we honestly think that what he said to them was more damaging than what they said to him? Which was more personal, I wonder..? At least they can blame being black on fate...

2877 days ago


My man did you see the Inside MAn with Denzel
Washinton,Jodie Foster and Clive Owen. I mean come
on you can't secure that kind of talent and not be good
at what you. Spike Lee has got it to a point where when
he does a film the people tune in. His work transendss
I mean even if you don't like his movies at this point
in his what at 15 to 20 year film making some body is
is watching his films. Any way if a Jewish filmmaker
wants to do a film from his point of view you don't think
twice about that. There are core ideas that come from
your point of view and my point of view. The point is
race and race issues are a on going problem. But the white
establisment is trying like hell to hold on to white
entitlement. You know" I don't see what's wrong you can't
it happened before you got here. Micheal Richards
is wack and he is not not even a comic he's like any of these
other actor that the casting person picked lucky man
but he washed now unless he can act as dumb as
Kramer. It's very important for people to know what
they are talking about before they talk.

2877 days ago


It wasn't cause of "Rodney King" that city nearly
burnt down, it was because of the generational
mistreatment and injustice blacks had continued
to suffer in the country, it was the CIA putting crack
in LA to support the Contras, it was
generation of blacks not living the promise
America supposedly offfered... it came to a head
because of how the climate was and n*ggas were sick of
the hypocrital bullsh*t this country is renowned for
spitting....if you don't believe me ask a couple
Iraqis who they would rather have over there right now....
Hussein or Bush.....guarantee it isn't Bush...America
cannot keep its word....its' word is trash and only reason
people can't see that is because they can't see
outside of think America is called the
"great satan" for nothing??? but then again you probably
think they really are jealous of our freedom you morons.....

2877 days ago
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