BY Caitlin Millat and Tracy Connor
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Updated Friday, February 20th 2009, 7:53 PM
Filmmaker Spike Lee led the call for celebrities to join a boycott of the New York Post Friday during a raucous protest of a racially charged cartoon.
Joined by his 11-year-old son, Lee told a crowd of about 300 people that he has bought the tabloid in the past - but no more.
And he suggested athletes and entertainers shun the paper's writers because of Wednesday's cartoon, which compared President Obama with a crazed chimp by some interpretations.
"This is not the end," Lee told the demonstrators, who marched in front of the Post's offices near Rockefeller Center shouting, "Shut it down."
"It's not just black folks. It's an insult to everybody."
He was joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who called the paper "a racist rag sheet" and TV judge Greg Mathis, who said executives from parent company News Corp. must be held accountable.
The protest leaders are calling on advertisers to boycott the Post and are vowing to take their money out of banks that buy space in the paper.
The single-panel cartoon by Sean Delonas showed the bloody body of the chimp responsible for Monday's attack on a woman in Connecticut, with two cops.
"They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one of the cops says.
The paper printed a half-hearted "apology" for offending anyone with the cartoon Friday - but protesters said the note, with its dig at Sharpton, was insincere.
"They should apologize on the front page," said Vivienne McLean, 62, of Manhattan. "I'm outraged that the stereotypes I encountered as a child still exist today."
Manhattan youth worker Salaam Ismail, 50, said the cartoon brought back painful childhood memories.
"I was called a monkey in elementary school by a group of white kids," he said. "I was a victim of racism \[then\] and I am again today."
Erin Bradley, 32, a copywriter from the East Village, said the Post was her "guilty pleasure" until this week.
"I'm never buying it again," she said. "I'm a Daily News customer now."