Earlier this month, Netflix began streaming Lee’s 1988 film “School Daze,” so Lee jumped on a live Twitter session with those watching.
Cosby’s name came up when the filmmaker accused him of stealing ideas from “School Daze” to make the sitcom “A Different World.”
“And For Record. SCHOOL DAZE Was Shot Before DIFFERENT WORLD. Robbi Reed Cast Both. Bill Cosby Jacked Us,” Lee tweeted.
In terms of casting on both projects, Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison and Darryl M. Bell played in “School Daze” and “A Different World.”
In the comments of Lee’s tweet, some said they always felt that Cosby used “School Daze” as inspiration for “A Different World.” Others, meanwhile, said they had no idea there was even a connection between the two releases — besides both of them being about HBCUs.
“He sterilized and sanitized your movie,” one person tweeted about Cosby. “No two ways about it. And I loved A Different World, but damn three main cast members were in the film!”
“I agree Spike 100% you birthed the narrative with crumbs and he took the story with his money and made it his!” another person wrote.
There were also a good number of people who said it didn’t matter if “A Different World” stemmed from “School Daze” because both creative works led them to attend an HBCU.
“Both were awesome and inspired my generation to go to college so all good!” read one tweet.
“Both School Daze and Different World was great for HBCUs and shed a spotlight on the black college experience,” wrote someone else. “Both had a great influence on me attending Howard University, and now my daughter 17 years later will be attending fall of 2020. I credit both for starting this legacy.”
“A Different World” began in 1987 and is a spinoff of “The Cosby Show.” It tackled topics like racism, domestic abuse, HIV and young love.
“School Daze,” which marked the 30th anniversary of its release in 2018, is Lee’s third film and is based on his years at Morehouse College. The story line touches on the topic of colorism on campus.
As for Cosby, he’s currently serving a three-to-10-year prison sentence at SCI-Phoenix in the suburbs of Philadelphia after being convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018.