Spike Lee’s Malcolm X is arguably one of the most controversial and debatable films. Featuring Denzel Washington in a titular role, the film narrates the different phases of the renowned human activist’s life.
Being a biographical film, Malcolm X had its share of controversies for over-dramatizing some events and it also suffered a lot during its making stages. The film has its take on racism and social conditions especially during the era of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. The Spike Lee directorial mainly faced criticism for the denunciation of whites.
The film turned out to be successful on both the critical and commercial front. It raised the image of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz aka Malcolm X as the hero of blacks. X’s conversion to Islam and becoming a member of Nation Of Islam and further his differences with the organization, everything was included in the biography.
As far as one knows, Louis Farrakhan’s name had always been attached to Malcolm X’s assassination and it even had a mention in the film. Two months before he got killed, Farrakhan had written, “such a man is worthy of death”, as he wasn’t happy over Malcolm X’s criticism of Nation of Islam spiritual leader Elijah Muhammad, leading to split with church leaders. But reportedly, director Spike Lee had received death threats from Farrakhan himself, thus prompting to remove all his mentions from the biography.
Meanwhile, as per the report in Washington Post, Louis Farrakhan had said, “As I may have been complicit in words that I spoke leading up to February 21st, I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being.”