Sunday, September 19, 2021

Spike Lee Reveals Bill Cosby Jacked His ‘School Daze’ Concept for ‘A Different World’ Series

 

Director Spike Lee attends the Warner Bros. Pictures 'DUNKIRK' US premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 18, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS
Director Spike Lee attends the Warner Bros. Pictures ‘DUNKIRK’ US premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 18, 2018 in New York City.

*Spike Lee has revealed that Bill Cosby “jacked” his idea for the film “School Daze” and used it for his hit television series “A Different World.”

The HBCU experience served as the template for both narratives. 

“And For Record. SCHOOL DAZE Was Shot Before DIFFERENT WORLD. Robbi Reed Cast Both. Bill Cosby Jacked Us. #Fact #schooldazeonnetflix,” Lee tweeted on April 3. 

Lee’s “School Daze” hit Netflix this month and Lee’s comment came after his live tweeting session along with viewers.

The 1998 drama stars Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin, and is based in part on Lee’s experiences as a Morehouse student in Atlanta during the 1970s.  

Check out Spike’s post below. 

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“A Different World” was a spin-off of “The Cosby Show” and followed the lives of students at the fictional HBCU Hillman College. The show premiered in September of 1987 and starred Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Dawnn Lewis, Lisa Bonet, Cree Summer, Darryl M. Bell, Charnele Brown and  Lou Myers

Both stories tackled issues of race, class and colorism. 

“30 years later, people still come up to me and say, ‘Spike, you are the reason I went to a black school. I didn’t even know there were black schools. You are the reason I went to college. You are the reason I am in this job,” Lee said in 2018 for the 30th anniversary celebration of the film. “That film really changed people’s lives.” 

Robbie Reed, who also starred in “A Different World,” was the casting director for both projects.  

Here is her account of it:

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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