Monday news broke that Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks had reached an agreement with the estate of Martin Luther King Jr. to create a biopic on the life of the slain civil rights leader. Everyone was excited. Everyone was interested. Who would play King? Would this be a three-hour-epic like Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X?” How would it differ from the King miniseries that reduces me to tears when they show it once a year during Black History Month?
But hold up! Wait a minute! This involves the King family, right? I got a bad feeling about this …
More after the jump.
While many people were happy to hear Monday that a prestigious Martin Luther King movie was in the works, two of the civil rights leader’s children weren’t so pleased. Martin Luther King III and Bernice King claim that their brother, Dexter King, sold their father’s life rights without consulting them.
Bernice told the AP:
This is a deal that Mr. Spielberg and his people … have entered into believing that they have the blessing of The King Estate. They don’t have the blessings of Bernice and Martin King.
Oh, Dexter. Once again his siblings are accusing him of being all about the Benjamins and nothing about preserving and protecting their father’s legacy. (Or, at least asking their permission.) Dexter King is in charge of the King Estate and foundation and there’s pretty much nothing MLK III and Bernice can do but sue whenever they think he’s over stepped a line.
And if you ask them, Dex is a habitual line-stepper. You remember how things went down the last time Dexter was jingling the change bucket for his family name?
In March, Dexter King brokered a deal with EMI Music Publishing for his father’s words and image. Last month, Bernice King and Martin Luther King III took issue with an $800,000 licensing deal their brother struck with the foundation tasked with building a memorial to their father on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The siblings still haven’t settled three lawsuits involving their parents’ estates, including one attempting to force Dexter King to open the books of their father’s estate. Another would determine who should control Associated Press)‘s personal items — some of which were at the center of a $1.4 million book deal about their mother’s life that fell apart last year. (
Why, kids of King? Why? Your parents were so awesome. Everyone loves them and wants to know more about them. Your father is an international symbol of triumph over adversity and human rights. Your mother is a beloved figure of the movement, fighting for both blacks and women. Why do you all have to suck so hard all of the time? Was it the pressure? I mean, it is a lot of pressure when Ma and Pa have raised the bar insanely high. I wouldn’t have blamed any of you if you’d all just gone to college and become nothing but history professors and dentists. Instead we all get treated to this now yearly spectacle of “The King Kids Fight It Out And Nothing Gets Done.” Thank God other people are paying for the monument in D.C. otherwise that sucker would never get made.
And at the rate the lawsuits are a flying, I bet this movie won’t get made either. Just like their mom’s biography didn’t get written and … Is it just me or do they not realize that their parents are historical figures and, at this point, belong to everyone in some capacity? I mean, why are they denying school children, historians and us from learning all we can about two people who mean so much to both the Civil Rights and Human Rights movements? Sure. We’ve heard everyone else’s stories about the Kings, but, King kids, history demands better of you.
Get it together.