Who put the cyanide in the Kool-Aid?
That’s the question The Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Rev. Al Sharpton and others are asking after seeing the smash hit “Barbershop,” a movie surrounding shop owner Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube) and his father’s hand-me-down hair-cutting business.
Jackson is outraged at a scene that contains jabs at Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Rodney King, and others.
Producers Bob Teitel and George Tillman have apologized to Jackson on behalf of all involved in the film.
“I completely did not mean to offend anyone,” Tillman told The Associated Press Sept. 23.
But Jackson wants more.
He is demanding that the offensive scene surrounding Cedric the Entertainer’s character Eddie be cut from the movie and any future releases on video and DVD.
The cranky barber pokes fun at King’s alleged affairs and declares that Parks, “…didn’t do nothing but sit her black a- on the bus.”
When asked about Jesse Jackson, Eddie responds with an obscenity.
“I could dismiss the comments about me,” Jackson said. “But Dr. King is dead, and Ms. Parks is an invalid.
There are some heroes who are sacred to a people, and these comments poisoned an otherwise funny movie.”
He accuses the producers of “trying to turn tragedy into comedy,” adding, “”the apology is an admission and a recognition that they knew they were wrong.”
Ironically, on the “John Williams Show” on WGN-AM radio, Jackson admits that he hasn’t even seen “Barbershop.”
When should movie producers be lambasted for telling the truth?
King’s extramarital affairs are common knowledge. Rosa Parks was not the first woman to refuse to give up her seat. Rodney King was drunk and high on PCP, and his erratic driving is what caused him to be pulled over by the LAPD.
In the meantime, Trick Daddy has released a song advocating drug use and excessive violence.
Of course, neither Rev. Jackson nor Rev. Sharpton has called for a protest.
Movie director Malcolm Lee, cousin to director Spike Lee, said it best: “I think if they want to protest movies, there are a lot of other movies to protest that do a lot more damage to the black community. There are strong images and more egregious affronts to (blacks).”
– J. Danielle Daniels for the Editorial Board