After the trailer for Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq was released, the negative backlash seemed to drown out any excitement for the film, with many upset about the way that the horrific violence in Chicago was being portrayed.

Now, the director has released a video message addressing the critics of the trailer who felt that he was treating the topic too lightly.

“The [Chi-Raq trailer] was released…and some people are getting it twisted and thinking that this is a comedy,” Lee said in the message. “Chi-Raq is not a comedy. Chi-Raq is a satire. And there is a difference between humor and comedy. In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-Raq. In no way, shape or form are we making light of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence. Don’t get it twisted. This film is about serious business. And there’s many films that we can look in the history of American cinema that treated a very serious subject matter that had humor in them. There’s an old statement: ‘I gotta laugh to keep from crying.’ I think that apropos for Chi-Raq.”

The message also included extended outtakes for Angela Bassett’s character that included parts of that “serious business.”

Check out the controversial trailer below.