Movie director Spike Lee is at the center of a campus controversy at Southern University. A Southern University student wanted to pay tribute to Lee, by turning one of his movies into a play, but now, there’s more drama off stage than on stage and the Univiersity ahs pulled the plug on the play.
Jeremy Gradny has always admired the work of award winning Director Spike Lee. So for Black History Month he decided to turn one of Lee’s most recognizable films, “X,” into a stage play. When Spike Lee made his way to Baton Rouge last month, Gradney says he felt it was destiny, not a coincidence. He says he was excited to meet Lee and told him about his bright idea. “He looked at me like yeah, right; you’re just saying that because I’m here. A s a matter of fact, he told me keep it up, he told me keep it up.”
But the day before his debut, Gradney says he received a disturbing phone call. “Spike Lee’s assistant called our chancellor, the dean of the theater department, saying that they will sue Southern University if I was to do this play. I can understand the legal aspect on things, but it was really done in celebration, not for any financial gains like that.” So Gradney had no choice but to cancel the performance.
So students were just as disappointed. Although Gradney doesn’t think he did anything wrong, this theater student says he’s learned a valuable lesson. We contacted Spike Lee’s production company but have yet to receive a comment.