Spike Lee Settles With Couple Whose Address He Erroneously Tweeted
The director has used the social media service to call for justice in the Trayvon Martin case, but an attempt to tweet Martin's shooter's home address put a senior couple at risk.
Spike Lee has come to an agreement to compensate the senior Florida couple whose address he mistakingly posted to the web.
"The McClains’ claim is fully resolved," their lawyer, Matt Morgan, told the Los Angeles Times. "Mr. Lee personally called them to give a very heartfelt apology. Further, he agreed to compensate them for their loss and the disruption to their lives."
Lee had tweeted their address under the premise that it was the home address of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American that had been walking in his Sanford, Florida neighborhood late one evening in late February. The tweet had left the McClains unable to return to their home and living in fear that they would be attacked as false retribution for Martin's killing.
Lee had previously apologized on Twitter, writing, "I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain's In Peace.Justice In Court."
“He was really kind,” Elaine McClain told the AP about their phone conversation with Lee. “And when he called us, you could just tell he really felt bad about it. And it was just a slip, and I just know that he really, really has been concerned.”
Thus closes one of the uniquely 21st century sideshows surrounding a case that has galvanized the country along political, racial and media lines. Lee has spent the past few weeks tweeting out messages advocating for Zimmerman's arrest, as have many other celebrities, especially in the wake of Fox News' Geraldo Rivera's maligned statements in which he said that Martin's wearing of a hooded sweatshirt -- and the fact that it made him look "gangsta" -- was as much to blame for the boy's death as Zimmerman's gun.
That took on a life of its own; the hoodie has become a cultural symbol of support for Martin's family -- and prosecution of Zimmerman -- culminating with Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) wearing a hoodie on the floor of the House of Representatives -- and being removed for doing so -- earlier in the week.
The case has developed quickly over the past few days, with family members of both Martin and Zimmerman appearing on major cable news programs, an eyewitness to the altercation joining Anderson Cooper on CNN last night and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell firing questions at Zimmerman's friend and an empty chair that was meant to host his lawyer. Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly has slammed the Martin family and the media, saying that they have tried to convict Zimmerman on television. Rush Limbaugh has alleged that the outrage surrounding Martin's death is manufactured.