The latest celebrity to have been caught up in a Twitter controversy is Spike Lee, famous American film director, producer, writer and actor.
Spike Lee has expressed sorry and apologized to the Florida couple who had to leave their home when a Twitter post by him facilitated the spread of the couples address as that of a man who shot an unarmed teenager.
The 70-year-old couple, Elaine and David, who have a son named William George Zimmerman, lived in their Sanford-area home in the mid 1990s. Their son has no relation at all with the 28-year-old George Zimmerman who killed the 17-year-old Trayvon Martion on Feb. 26.
The murder has sparked off public anger and protests across the country. Many celebrities including Lee have expressed their anger over the fact that Zimmerman was not arrested because he said that he'd shot in self-defense.
Lee tweeted late Wednesday, "I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address. It Was A Mistake. Please Leave The McClain's In Peace. 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."
The couple has been bombarded with hate mail, chased down by the media after the tweet confusion, as reported by their son, Chip Humble, to the Orlando Sentinel.
Due to safety concerns and to evade the attention, the couple has shifted to a hotel for the time being.
The basis of this misunderstanding originated from the fact that the woman’s son is named William George Zimmerman and he was living at the address for a brief while in 1995. When the news broke out last month that a man named George Zummerman – who has not been charged with a crime – shot and killed an unarmed Trayvon Martin, it became the most discussed topic on the media.
William Zimmerman said he used his mother and stepfather's address to register a car, get a driver's license and vote when he lived there after college.
Lee’s movies are socially relevant and highlight issues such as race relations, role of media in the present-day society, urban crime, poverty and political issues. He has won many awards notably an Emmy while having received two Academy Award nominations.
During a lecture at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, on February 11, 2009, Lee criticized how some in the black community wrongfully associate "intelligence with acting white, and ignorance with acting black", admonishing students and parents to maintain more positive attitudes in order to follow their dreams and achieving their goals.