Spike Lee: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a 'bully'

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Spike Lee and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel do not get along.

In a recent interview with Chicago magazine, the director of the upcoming Amazon Studios film Chi-Raq said Emanuel — who does not like the title or content of the film — "tried to paint me like the villain."

"I'm not the bad guy, but that's how he was trying to portray it. Do I have the guns? Am I the one pulling the trigger? To be honest, he's a bully," Lee told the magazine's Bryan Smith. "My tactic with the mayor — any bully — is to come out swinging. I said, 'Mayor, Your Honor, you're gonna be on the wrong side of history.' "

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Spike Lee: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a 'bully'
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Director Spike Lee during a game between the Brooklyn Nets an the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 02, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 02: Radio personality Howard Stern and actor Alec Baldwin and director Spike Lee during a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 02, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Film director Spike Lee attends an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden on Friday, December 6 2013 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Magic 121-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Spike Lee attends the New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on December 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Spike Lee attends the New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center on December 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Spike Lee poses for photographs with Actress Lupita Nyong’o during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in New York. the 76ers won the game 110-106. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, left, talks to Spike Lee during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in New York. The Knicks won the game 102-92. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Spike Lee claps as former New York Knicks player Bernard King is honored during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Knicks and the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Rapper and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs embraces filmmaker Spike Lee during a timeout in the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in New York, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Filmmaker and ardent New York Knicks fan Spike Lee is shown reacting during Game 3 of the Knicks NBA basketball first-round playoff series againsgt the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, May 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Director Spike Lee applauds in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the New York Knicks in New Orleans, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Spike Lee, right, hugs 50 Cent at the NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Spike Lee, left, and Will Smith talk during a time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, in Philadelphia. New York won 82-79. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Filmmaker Spike Lee reacts at the NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Baltimore Orioles third base coach Willie Randolph, right, and film director Spike Lee, left, pose for a photograph before the first half of an NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Movie director Spike Lee reacts after New York Knicks action during the second half of a NBA basketball game in Miami, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010 against the Miami Heat. The Heat won 106-98.(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Director Spike Lee watches the New York Knicks play the New Jersey Nets in an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Spike Lee reacts in the 4th quarter as New York Knicks defeat the Celtics 88-80 in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Spike Lee sits all alone waiting for Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs to begin on May 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Film Director Spike Lee looks on during the game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics during Game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 1, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Director Spike Lee celebrates a basket by Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during their game against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Calling Chicago the "most segregated big city in America," Lee said the mayor does not want the public to see the violence of the city, especially on the South Side, because it's happening "on his watch."

"We started shooting Chi-Raq June 1. We finished July 9. During that time, 331 people got wounded, 65 murdered," Lee said to highlight his point. "New York City has three times the population of Chicago; Chicago has more homicides than New York City."

Chi-Raq is an update of the classical Greek play Lysistrata and stars Teyonah Parris as a woman who protests the city's black-on-black gun violence. The film also features Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson.

Production of the film, due out in December, hit several snags while shooting in Chicago, which Lee believes Emanuel helped create, including the introduction of a resolution that would have made the production ineligible for state tax refunds, he told the magazine.

"A lot of stuff he might not have done directly, but I see [Emanuel's] fingerprints," Lee said.

While filming, there was a "perception" that residents did not want Lee making his film, he said.

"But everywhere I went — North Side, West Side, South Side, black people, white people — I got nothing but love our entire time here. Love," Lee said.

Even after completing his film, Lee said he still did not fully "comprehend" the gang violence of Chicago.

"See, there were gangs growing up in New York, in Brooklyn. But the gang culture here? [Whistles.] It's on another level here," Lee said. "Another level."

A request for comment from Emanuel's office was not returned.

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