Acclaimed film director and all time Tyler Perry hater, Spike Lee is in hot water after mistakenly retweeting what he thought was the address of George Zimmerman, the man who shot unarmed 17-year-old teenager Trayvon Martin.
The address in fact belongs to elderly couple David and Elaine McClain, who have lived at the Florida property for almost a decade with their youngest son whose last name is Zimmerman and very close to the name or George Zimmerman.
To be clear, George Michael Zimmerman is the 28-year-old man who is in hiding for shooting Martin. William George Zimmerman is 41-year-old man who is the youngest son of the McClains, the Smoking Gun reports.
The couple has now left their home and is ‘living in fear’ after a storm of negative publicity landed at their door, with TV reporters surrounding the property, neighbors constantly asking questions and hate mail being sent to the house.
The original tweet is was sent by 33-year-old Marcus Higgins of Los Angeles, who posted it to both his Facebook and Twitter account before it found its way to the Do The Right Thing director and his 250,000 followers.
Lee has since removed the retweet message from his Twitter account.
The McClains hired the Morgan & Morgan law firm to represent them.
“My youngest son, his last name is Zimmerman and his middle name is George,” McClain told WKMG local news. “He definitely owes us a big apology. All of this is really scary and it’s a shame. There’s no reason they put our address out there without checking to see who lived there.”
Morgan and Morgan said that the legal retainer is to protect the families interests:
“At this point, they have retained us to protect their interests” and their safety, attorney Matt Morgan said of Elaine and David McClain, an elderly Sanford-area couple in their 70s. ”At this point, they’ve had to move out of their home and their lives have been upended.
Spike Lee was one of the people Higgins tweeted to get the word out on March 23. After the discovery the address was incorrect, Higgins apologized via Twitter and sent this tweet to Lee:
“GOD BLESS YOU I KNOW YOU HATE ME BUT I DON’T HATE YOU I DID APOLOGY FOR RETWEET THE WRONG ADDRESS.”[sic]
Lee, has yet to release a statement or response. However, he is retweeting racially-charged tweets directed at him in the fallout of events.
“People, The Thinking Behind Me Retweeting These Insane Racist Rants Is Because This Sickness Must Be Exposed. USA Post Racial Society?????????”[sic] @spikelee tweeted.
“I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address,” Lee tweeted. “It Was A Mistake. Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace. Justice In Court. “
Now there is talk of Higgins and the retweeters violating Twitter’s content boundaries and use, which states:
“You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.”
According to Twitter’s rules, an account “may be suspended for Terms of Service violations.”
Morgan declined Wednesday to discuss any possible future litigation on the couple’s behalf.
“The first thing they’re hoping for is an apology and a retraction by Spike Lee,” Morgan said, adding that the couple hope their story can help “heal the divide between the white and black community.”
George Zimmerman is currently in hiding and in fear of his life as threats mount and the racially charged controversy grows. The New Black Panther Party recently announced a $10,000 bounty for his “capture.”