Spike Lee has been ousted from the director’s chair for the much-anticipated James Brown biopic. Producer Brian Grazer fired Lee after hiring him for the film shortly after Brown’s death in 2006.
The movie will chronicle the life of ‘The Godfather of Soul’ and a career spanning six decades, Grazer recruited Tate Taylor, a white director, to replace Lee.
Taylor is not unfamiliar with making movies about black people, he’s known for directing “The Help,” the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning film that highlighted the Civil Rights Era and the way black maids were treated in the segregated South. However, the film suffered somewhat from its failure to capture the black perspective during that era.
Eddie Murphy, who was cast by Lee to play Brown, once told BlackTree TV that the script was a “great, great piece.”
Before “The Help,” Taylor only directed the lackluster film, “Pretty Ugly People,” which doesn’t qualify him to take on a film of this magnitude. So it’s hard not to characterize Glazer’s decision to fire Lee and hire Tate, as just another attempt by Hollywood to marginalize the black perspective in the industry.