The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Father Pfleger Defends Spike Lee Over 'Chiraq' Movie Title

By DNAinfo Staff | April 16, 2015 10:44am | Updated on April 16, 2015 10:49am
 Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, is seen in this file photo.
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, is seen in this file photo.
View Full Caption
Getty Images/Scott Olson

AUBURN GRESHAM — Filmmaker Spike Lee, under criticism by some for a planned movie he's calling "Chiraq," is getting some support from the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who says Lee should be commended for addressing crime in Chicago.

Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church, posted on Facebook that Lee "has the courage and God knows the talent to dig into this Black on Black Crime and try to bring about a Healing and Solution."

"Im so tired of hearing people on [Facebook] upset about the Spike Lee movie title Chiraq," the Catholic priest wrote.

The word "Chiraq" is considered a perjorative, and some fear it will stigmatize the city.

Ald. Will Burns (4th) told DNAinfo Chicago's Mark Konkol that he warned the filmmaker's representatives that a state tax break for movie-making, as much as $3 million, might run into resistance if Lee uses "Chiraq" as his film title.

Using "Chiraq" is unfairly "branding whole parts of the city," Burns said. Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also said that he told Lee "I wasn't happy about the title" of the film reportedly set in violence-plagued Englewood.

Pfleger wrote Wednesday night "I trust Spike Lee" and that every film in Lee's "body of work has been powerful."

"To those worried about tourism...if your worried then help stop the problem. Give us jobs, opportunities, economic development. Stop a Governor whose wiping out programs for youth," he wrote.

"I don't give a damn about some tourist being afraid to come here," Pfleger wrote. Rather, he is concerned "if some child here is afraid to LIVE here."

"And to all those outraged about a title...are you outraged about the 1 killed and 11 shot last night?" he wrote.

Lee visited St. Sabina, 1210 W. 78th Place, in January to talk to people about violence, Pfleger said.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: