Director Spike Lee & Actor John Cusack Discuss Upcoming Film
Spike Lee attends a press conference to discuss the upcoming film 'Chiraq' at St. Sabina Church on May 14, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  Daniel Boczarski — Getty Images

Spike Lee’s Newest Film Project Chiraq Hit With Trademark Claim

Jun 05, 2015

Spike Lee’s latest film project about the Windy City’s troublesome record with gun violence appears to have attracted another detractor.

The upcoming movie, Chiraq, first angered local officials, who fear the film will adversely affect the city’s image. Now somebody has come forward claiming to have several trademarks tied to the slated title of the project.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Emmett Benjamin has contacted the director’s attorney, demanding that Lee refrain from using Chiraq because of its links to the House of Christ Temple Divine he is associated with.

Benjamin lists the concept of the "Sovereign nation of Chi-raqi” in the group’s official charter, reports the Tribune. The organization has reportedly used “Chiraq” on articles of clothing, in song lyrics and on myriad websites associated with the temple.

“We put over $100 into marketing last year to try to spread awareness,” Benjamin told the daily. “I hate to say it, but Spike Lee's project would seem to be a result of our hard work in marketing."

Lee has not responded publicly to these allegations.

[Chicago Tribune]

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