In the previews for Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchained, a western-themed work set in America’s south during slavery, the lead character Django, portrayed by Jamie Foxx, announces coyly that “the d is silent” in the pronunciation of his name. Following a Christmas day release, it’s become abundantly clear that the n-word does not remain silent in the feature.
In a video interview with Global Grind, Foxx and fellow actress Kerry Washington discussed the abundance of the word and how it presented difficulty in filming, not only for themselves but for Leonardo DiCaprio as well.
GG: What was it like with all those n-bombs flying around the whole movie?
Foxx: We wanted it to be like that on the set because at that time that’s just how they labeled us. There wasn’t any other way around it. If you don’t feel affected by the word n****r and being called that – feel bad and all types of things like that then you’re not human. Even when Leo (DiCaprio) had to say it a whole lot he had to back up and Samuel L. Jackson had to say, “Get over it man,” because this is what it was.
Fellow director Spike Lee has announced that he will not see the film. Lee tweeted:
“American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
Lee also told VibeTV:
“I can’t speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it. I’m not seeing it. All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m gonna say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors. I can’t do it. Now, that’s me. I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself. I can’t do it.”
This isn’t Lee’s first beef with Tarantino. When the latter’s Jackie Brown hit the theaters, featuring the frequent use of said word, Lee had the following to say.
“I’m not against the word. And some people speak that way. But Quentin is infatuated with that word. What does he want to be made, an honorary black man? I want Quentin to know that all African-Americans do not think that word is trendy or slick.”
Spike’s tweet ignited a spirited debate on Twitter with Lee concluding, “A Good Night To All.I Hope The Dialogue Tonight Makes Us All Want To Learn More About The True History Of American Slavery.READ.PROBE.THINK”
Do you have a problem with Tarantino’s liberal use of the n-word? Do you think Lee should at least see the film before passing judgment?
Image: PNP – WENN / WENN / Ivan Nikolov – WENN