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Spike Lee Won't See 'Django Unchained,' Says "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western"

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 23, 2012 10:08 AM
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To say that Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" will be divisive is perhaps an understatement. At The Playlist, we ran three reviews to highlight the varying opinions our staff had on the film, and with the movie hitting theaters this week that chatter is only going to increase. But getting the ball rolling on what is surely to be some lively debate in many quarters is Spike Lee, who has declared he will be not be seeing the movie at all.

Catching up with Vibe (via Shadow & Act), the director stated quite clearly why he felt he coulnd't watch the movie. "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," he explained. "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."

Of course, the comments attracted immediate attention, and Lee hit Twitter as well saying: "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." And of course, this prompted further debate and Lee stayed online for a while last night to read and respond to comments (it's worth a browse).

And while we'll let this conversation play out in the comments, particularly as people see the movie in the coming days and weeks, it should be noted that this isn't the first time Tarantino has been the target of Lee's criticisms. Circa "Jackie Brown," Lee took issue with the amount of n-words peppered throughout the movie, telling Variety at the time: "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."

And one might surmise that Lee feels Tarantino is again playing a bit fast and loose with African-American history and culture, which may be why he's not going to bother sitting down to watch "Django Unchained." And while we're all for criticism, we'd urge Lee to least see the movie before speaking out against it. Just like the current "Zero Dark Thirty"-endorses-torture spin that's flying around the interwebs, a lot of it is coming from people who haven't bothered to see the movie yet. Discourse is great, but let's at least make sure we're seeing the works first, before acting like experts about it.

Watch Lee's comments shared with Vibe below, and as always, we want to know what you think.

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  • Alicia | January 4, 2014 3:22 PMReply

    I don't really understand how Lee can make all these comments about Django when he hasn't actually seen it. Probably the most inaccurate part of the film was the inclusion of the KKK which did not exist until Reconstruction. Also Africans willingly sold slaves to Europeans, why? Because everyone lived in separate tribes and considered each other rivals so sold them along with criminals, honestly the Europeans could hardly make it into the interior of Africa by themselves to capture slaves.
    I don't remember Tarantino ever saying this film was supposed to be historically accurate. It's nice to see someone making a film about a strong black couple and a heroic black protagonist for a change

  • Marieinbethpage | July 8, 2013 12:43 AMReply

    Get real. Tarantino doesn't want to be an honorary Black man. He wants to be an honorary Jew. Your ancestors weren't stolen from Africa. Your ancestors were sold from Africa. The lies never end.

  • brutal honesty | December 24, 2013 12:56 PM


    if they hadn't been sold
    they would all be starving to death in Africa

  • mimi sanders | April 11, 2013 10:22 AMReply

    oh please grow up stupid if you knew your history you would know that, that is how white people identified black people as a bunch of 'n- words'. i didnt like it but didnt hate it cause it used slavery as a back drop but didnt capture the intensity, it was inconsistent and lacked realism in my point of view. i dont know if you noticed there were slaves loose on the fileds not working realistically that coudn't have happened. Also what buggeed me was the n-word was exhausted, when I read journals from white slave owners and such they treated them and spoke to them a million times worse. The white man saw black people and some still do as subhuman: racism during the slave trade was more than i hate your skin colour. If your gonna do a movie about something intense and discriminating towards a race dont hold back go all out or dont bother.

  • charnk | February 13, 2013 10:39 AMReply

    I'm watching a Spike Lee Joint (movie) right now and I find his movies racist as fuck. Oh, and also bad. i'm not talking about Do the Right Thing. Its a movie called She Hate Me (not Hates) from 2004. Theres evil white people and a put upon black man that behaves stereotypically, not to mention manipulative women. Its strange Lee finds racism in a lot of things, but isn't it a thief that thinks people are trying to rob him the most?

  • i hate spike lee | December 24, 2013 12:58 PM

    bank robber white man clive owen
    protected by white woman Jodie foster
    taking money from another white man Christopher plummer
    while brave black cops denzel and chiwetel ejiofor try to do the right thing

  • ted | January 19, 2013 2:41 AMReply

    As a white man, i thought DU was accurate in it's protrayal of southern whites... as buncha rabid racist maniacs!

  • Badr | January 6, 2013 8:59 AMReply

    To those who have suggested Mr. Lee would not have commented on DU if he had not been asked about it, he posted this bite size on Twitter. No one asked him to do so.
    I think Tarantino's humour is not cynical, heedless fun-making, but even if it were i would not care. Fuck slavery, i think is the message here, if any. This gibberish about ancestry is just a matter of how far back in time you are willing to go, and ultimately only perpetuates the hoax that is racism. In that sense, Tarantino does Spike Lee more good than Mr. Lee himself.

  • Welsh | January 6, 2013 8:28 AMReply

    So, Mr. Lee mentions, in telling not to voice his opinion about a film he has and will not see, that said film cannot be anything but abject. Shrewd really.
    africa addio
    o brother where art thou

  • Felix Pahl | January 6, 2013 4:47 AMReply

    There's some irony in the fact that in saying Spike Lee shouldn't voice an opinion about the movie without having seen it, people are voicing an opinion about his comments without having listened to them -- the very first thing he says is "I can't speak on it 'cause I'm not gonna see it."

  • JD | January 27, 2013 1:43 AM

    And two sentences later he says it would be disrespectful to his ancestors to see it. He is absolutely voicing an opinion about the movie with that statement. *sigh* I used to have so much respect for Spike Lee's joints, but I find his credibility tarnished practically every time he speaks publicly, which makes me view his films differently. Glanced at a page of his Tweets re: Django and saw him call someone a "retart." (I'm offended by the use of the word, not the spelling.)

  • Jimmy Jo JO | January 1, 2013 6:57 PMReply

    Nobody can be surprised about this idiot running his mouth without a clue....

    No. 1 New York Knicks fan Spike Lee says he's "deeply" sorry for re-tweeting what he thought was the Florida address of accused Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman.

    Turns out it was the address of a David and Elaine McClain. The elderly Sanford, Fla., couple say they were forced to flee their home for fear of vigilante violence. They've hired an attorney with an eye toward a possible lawsuit against the famous film director.

  • Jimbob | December 31, 2012 10:46 AMReply

    Spike Lee can't have an opinion on the movie if he is not going to watch it. It's as simple as that. He needs to pull his head out of his ass.

  • rex henderson | December 30, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    Spike is an ignoramus. Ever hear him in an interview, talk show, or discussion with peers. He's always the mental slouch of the group, the one that you wish would remain quiet and allow the real intellectuals, such as Dr. West, to speak.

  • Rammus | December 28, 2012 12:19 PMReply

    I hope Spike Lee's remake of OLD BOY is as good as Django. If its not, he's going to look very foolish

  • rufus | December 28, 2012 5:12 AMReply

    Still waiting for the remake of "Mandingo".

  • Steve | December 28, 2012 3:24 AMReply

    Both Spike and Quentin have directed brilliant films. But Spike has been on the decline. And he is coming off as someone who resents another director, let alone a white director, receive acclaim for movies to do with black history or that involve black culture. That is just juvenile. Did John Avildsen need to grow up boxing to direct Rocky? If the finished product passes whatever litmus test exists for legitimacy then the color of the director should not matter. And when when Spike says things like Quentin is trying to become an honorary black man by his overuse of the N-word in his movies it is obvious he feels QT is somehow infringing on his personal turf. Well Spike IMO you dishonor your ancestors by giving bad press to a movie that shows the brutality and immortality of slavery simply because you didn't direct it. With all the crap Hollywood churns out the demand for quality movies couldn't be higher. So Spike, get off your pity-pot, quit hating, go see the movie, and don't play the ancestor card. Or better yet, dig down deep and tap back into your glory days as a director and start making some more great movies yourself.

  • GoldTrader | December 27, 2012 9:07 PMReply

    What does city boy know about Westerns anyway.

  • GENA TORRES | December 27, 2012 6:54 PMReply


  • Jimmy Jo Jo | January 1, 2013 7:01 PM

    Bro, your CAPLOCKS key seems to be stuck. If you want anybody to take you seriously (especially when you use terms like "cock of bullshit") and follow up your post with a bazillion !'s, you need all the help you can get. Though, in your defense, U @ least R not using TXTing abbrivations....Thank U 4 that! (See that single "!"? It got my emphasis across quite well)

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:09 PM

    What exactly is a "cock of bullshit"? Sounds gross. And, per this dumb motherfucker's understanding, "Django Unchained" is not a remake. It's directly inspired by the old Django films, but is an original screenplay. Or maybe you don't differentiate. As far as Spike goes, he's neither right nor wrong. He's saying he won't see the movie because it offends his sensibilities. He obviously has an overall distaste for Tarantino, but that's more a matter of taste than being "right" or "wrong." I'm sure a highly intelligent, angry motherfucker like yourself feels me. One suggestion, regarding brevity . . why use 92 exclamation marks when 58 would've worked just as well?

  • gena torres | December 27, 2012 6:39 PMReply


  • Matt | December 29, 2012 8:21 PM

    This movie is not a remake of Django. It is inspired by it but not a remake.

  • Jay | December 27, 2012 6:21 PMReply

    This movie shows a black dude getting even with slave owners, which is comparable to when Quentin depicted Jews getting even with Nazis during WWII in "Inglorious". Jews didn't complain when he made that, and Spike shouldnt complain now. He is such an annoying little douche. Stop being a ill bitch dude.

  • Gerard Kennelly | December 24, 2013 1:11 PM

    'the jews control hollywood'

    not my words
    the words of brando and oliver stone

  • Slogra | December 27, 2012 11:20 PM

    I'm no fan of Spike Lee's comments regarding this movie, but I should point out that some Jews did in fact complain about Basterds. Of course, that doesn't excuse Lee's behavior here. Why didn't Lee complain about Tarantino's earlier movie? Why does Lee only care if black people are in it? Shouldn't he also be complaining about how the Vietnamese were depicted in "Full Metal Jacket" and so on?

  • randy | December 27, 2012 5:54 PMReply

    its just a MOVIE. who CARES. i watch Tarantinos movies cuz they entertain me for 2 hrs. thats all. i could care less what he thinks about slavery or our country or whatever. he just makes movies thats all. my god i wish i had time in my life to worry about this crap. in 6 months the movie will be on dvd sitting on shelves and no one will talk about....who cares!!! not ur cup of tea? theres plenty of other movies at the theatre to pick from

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:14 PM

    Amen, brotha. I'm not sure there are five people in the world who go to a Tarantino flick hoping to learn valuable historical information. They go for the same reasons you do. "Django Unchained" exists for the same reason his other films exist. To Be Freaking Awesome. That's it; they are meant to exist, awesomely. They do it very well, and do nothing else. You know what you're getting with Quentin. You either dig it or you don't. I do.

  • Van Iblis | December 27, 2012 5:16 PMReply

    Lee must not be too big on his history. "His" ancestors were not "stolen" from Africa. They were *sold* into slavery by *his* ancestors (who already had slaves in their own country). Dumbass.

  • genatorres | December 27, 2012 7:34 PM

    bullshit thats not all the way true !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Derek O'Brien | December 27, 2012 2:49 PMReply

    Quentin Tarantino is the grown-up version of the kid who plays war with his little green soldiers, dinosaurs, Transformers and Barbie dolls, uncaring of the historical or logical contexts, just so long as it's fun.

  • uncle tom | December 24, 2013 1:18 PM

    Derek O'Brien

    Spike Lee is the grown-up version of
    the black kid who thinks being black makes him the expert on what is racist or not

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:16 PM

    That's a pretty solid description, and it's the reason I see all his movies multiple times.

  • genatorres | December 27, 2012 7:36 PM

    you might have a point !

  • fitzcarraldont | December 27, 2012 10:49 AMReply

    I agree with Spike. Watching the movie two nights ago, I felt sick upon realizing I was being entertained by the brutality of slavery. Entertained with a capital E. It's not that Quentin is attempting to make a movie about slavery and that's "not ok." It's fine, in the hands of a talented, interesting filmmaker. Q. is not that anymore. Here's the analogue. Imagine Inglorious Basterds with scenes of "witty banter" set in the showers at Dachau. Laughing at the Jews dying, naked and terrified as gas filled their chambers, Quentin cracks a joke. Would that have been acceptable? Just because Q. seems to have talked a few black actors notorious for not turning down roles into being in his movie does not make DU a legitimate endeavor. It's sickening on a lot of levels: because it's a bad movie with crappy locations and continuity and dialog and story, because the violence is unnecessary and gross and, most importantly, because Q. is diminishing the legacy of the victims of slavery by pretending to have license to handle what he does not understand or respect.

  • ellen the generous | December 24, 2013 1:21 PM

    imagine Spielberg using the gas chambers to create suspense

    how tasteless would that have been ?

    but steven spielberg is jewish
    and therefore would never dare make such a film

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:24 PM

    I always love it when some sanctimonious, hand-wringing prig decides that, since a movie pushed their buttons a bit it's not "a legitimate endeavor." Evaluations of QT's talent level and overall interestingness are completely subjective, though the majority of respected film critics . . you know, people who've seen and studied a ton of films and tend to have an appreciation for the medium beyond knee-jerk reactions . . disagree with you. If his success is all smoke and mirrors, then he's pretty goddamn good deft with smoke and mirrors. But to declare the film "illegitimate" suggests you have some authority beyond governing your own preferences.

    I'm also confused by your "license" comment. Who exactly issues these licenses? I mean, you must know, because you imply that you've obtained one, since you "understand and respect" the victims of slavery so well.

  • VANITA | December 27, 2012 6:30 AMReply

    Quentin Tarantino is the most interesting film maker/director in the business at this time, why not see his movies! His movies has the edgy mutherfukkness about them! Amazing!

  • chad | March 22, 2014 8:34 AM

    wow sloppy just tore ditzy fitzy a new one… that was good stuff

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:26 PM

    That may be the most direct and accurate description of QT I've ever heard . . he has "mutherfukkness." I'm going to steal that.

  • genatorres | December 27, 2012 7:38 PM

    right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vanita | December 27, 2012 6:00 AMReply

    Spike Lee's history of criticizing Tarantino movies is personal and childish. What is wrong with seeing how a dynamic popular talented director, film maker sees and interprets anything. Its learning and interesting to view any talented artist works! How can Spike Lee come off so negative when this is an opportunity for many others! I look forward to see what Tarantino came up with, to compare with his other movies. I like that crazy deep excitement that he brings to his works! There is room for everyone to do what they do! I don't get Spike Lee's mean girl spirit! What is creative about his attitude?! He needs to learn to be a better example to younger people, future directors and film makers!

  • Eliza | December 26, 2012 10:52 PMReply

    I find it interesting that Spike Lee has a problem with Django Unchained because his ancestors were slaves. A lot of Native Americans would love to have the truth told about how they were treated by white people rather than forgotten about and swept under the rug, and I'm sure an honest depiction of smallpox and rape and slaughter would not be fun to watch, but at least some truth would be out there. The Jewish people are hoping that we don't forget what happened in Nazi Germany and all over Europe during World War 2 and are trying to get movies made to keep it in our consiousness before all the survivors are gone. Beloved, by Toni Morrison, depicted some awful parts of slavery and it was heralded as a brave, brutally honest portrayal. But a white man tries to show how horrific slavery was, how casually callous white people were towards African people and their descendents, how some people will work against their own people in order to survive themselves, and he is condemned in the harshest terms. Now, Spike, if you want to say that you can't ever watch anything depicting slavery, then I understand. Did you see Beloved? Amistad? Roots? Is it only Quentin Tarantino that you won't watch? What he shows is that slavery was completely dehumanizing. Most of the white people in the film are the lowest, most no-account trash you can imagine. And the black people were mostly lovely and honorable and trying to stay alive. He showed in the most brutal way how bad it was. So anyone with a weak stomach, stay home. Anyone who wants to be reminded, lest we forget how bad it was, and who wants to cheer an awesome black cowboy hero, go. (And don't forget, there WERE black cowboys!) And if Tarantino had toned down the cruelty of the white 'masters', then he would just have fed right into those stupid white people who say, "See, not all white slave owners were so bad." And he would have muted the reality.

  • more lon bran dough | December 24, 2013 1:24 PM

    The Jewish people are ''hoping'' that we don't forget what happened in Nazi Germany
    and all over Europe during World War 2

    hoping ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    ww2 is their bread and butter

  • Sampson | December 26, 2012 11:55 AMReply

    How ignorant of you Rosco. Simply making the comments that you made shows that you have no respect for your ancestors who also endured some sort of pain in history. I did go to see the film and walked out because it was too painful to imagine my ancestors being eaten by a pack of dogs, because I couldn't figure out why someone would make light of the KKK, a group of people who found (FIND) pleasure in killing Black people. Quentin Tarantino made light of topics that just were not funny, and you all laughed. Why? Because you have no clue, because the treatment of humankind then and NOW is a laughing matter.

  • cpt. falcon | December 26, 2012 5:12 AMReply

    And I wont see the Lion King because lions can't talk

  • Rosco | December 25, 2012 9:51 AMReply

    Lee is a history denying idiot. His "ancestors" are not the only ones to have known slavery. In fact, some of his "ancestors" captured and sold other of his "ancestors" into slavery. Of which "ancestors" is he speaking? Slavery was a part of human excistance since recorded time. Slavery in the South was no "apocalypse", not saying it was a good thin, just saying it wasn't any worse than anyone elses. Get over it baby cakes, deal with the world as it is, and quit thinking you ancestors had it any worse than mine.

  • The Film Major | December 25, 2012 2:03 AMReply

    He's an ass. He's only jealous because Lee could never make a film on the same level of greatness as Tarantino can.

  • movie expert | December 24, 2013 1:41 PM

    do the right thing amazing
    clockers underrated
    get on the bus masterpiece
    inside man overrated
    miracle at saint anna underrated
    oldboy pathetic tasteless remake
    he got game incredible dramedy
    malcolm X oscar worthy
    pulp fiction masterpiece
    reservoir dogs overrated
    jackie brown painfully dated
    inglorious basterds booorrriiinnnggggg
    django unchained overrated
    kill bill overrated full of itself
    kill bill 2 overrated and slow
    death proof masterpiece

  • minato808 | December 24, 2012 10:46 PMReply

    As an Asian I'm offended with Mr. Lee remaking a perfectly good Korean film in Old Boy. Maybe because his last name is Lee he thinks he can remake any Asian movie. Perhaps he wants to be an honorary Asian man. Of course I'm just kidding and I totally see where he's coming from. I'll probably even watch his Old Boy remake but I'll be very skeptical about it.

  • keepitreal | December 24, 2012 7:29 PMReply

    There was no anger or jealousy in the comments that Lee made in his response to the question he was asked. He simply said that he could not comment on the movie and would not be able to comment because he had no intention on seeing the movie. That is his perrogative. If you read reviews from several others who have seen the movie, it has been described as a "spaghetti western" and that there was humor despite the clear fact that the enemy in the movie was slavery and that Tarantino did indeed show the horrific brutality of slavery. While I do intend to see the movie, I understand and can empathize with Lee and why he does not want to see the movie. Many people who still feel pain and hurt from how their ancestors were treated don't want to see a fictitious and entertaining portrayal of slavery. Rather than subjecting himself to the potential for being upset by this fictional depiction, he is choosing not to see it. I get it.

  • JenT | December 24, 2012 5:10 PMReply

    We all must tell the stories that Help us Heal, Forgive & maybe even Pass that on to others. I can't wait to see this film, mainly because its core is a Love Story & as a person whom has never Felt Truly Loved, movies may be ''Just Fiction'' but True Love is not fiction & I find Hope in Movies, when they are really well Crafted, they increase my Faith. Peace to All who read this & May 2013 be the Year we ALL find Hope, Faith & Peace!

  • lifeislikeabeanstalk | December 24, 2012 5:17 PM

    J - Very good point. The purpose of art isn't only to provide reportage. It is also a way to examine, reflect, rejoice, mourn and, in some way, process some dimension of life (past, present or future) in a manner that allows us to understand ife and ourselves outside the bonds of pure reason. Peace to you as well.

  • Lifeislikeabeanstalk | December 24, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    Spike is an artist - a good one. And he has a point. And a right to his view. I agree his 'Fondness / Dislike Meter' for other peoples work seems to be revelatory of his own productiveness & insecurities. Mine is probably about the same. I get his point. For some people a 9/11 based comedy right now might still be too soon. But rest assured, at somepoint a nagging mother-in-law on a flight headed into WTC Tower 2 is gonna be done.

    Conversely Quentin's work has to reflect some of his own human foibles and flaws. He is too great of an artist not to let his shadow inform his creative process.

    I have found when it comes to art and politics - I am seldom wrong if I keep an artists 'work' separate from his or her pronouncements. So - Quentin made his movie. Spike had his say (without even seeing the movie). And I'm gonna be in line tomorrow with a large Mr Pibb and a medium box of pop-corn . . . hope my cardiologist isn't in line too!

  • Jack | December 24, 2012 12:39 PMReply

    Y'all are stupid haters. Let the man have his say.

  • Korie | December 24, 2012 11:14 AMReply

    I'm an African American and I can plainly state that Lee is completely full of hubris and bullshit! He is quite definitely the living embodiment of a hater. It would be a completely different affair if Sam Jackson who is also Django(as well as an outspoken advocate for African American affairs) came out and said that he couldn't be a part of this film BC it trivialized American slavery..then I'm sure the collective eyebrows would raise but no one can take a blowhard like Lee seriously. Also, I don't believe anyone especially Jews got upset when QT made Inglorious Bastards?? Lee needs to just stick to his post court side at Knicks games and keep his mouth shut

  • Jason | December 24, 2012 9:38 AMReply

    Spike you don't want o disrespect your ancestors.... You want to talk about Slavery .. You have no problem with hold slavery hence why you support a company like Nike ....

    I guess bling and blood diamonds are okay too...

    Spike hates to see success for other artists , that is the real issue here....

  • wtf | December 24, 2012 9:09 AMReply

    This is the same guy who won multiple best writing/screenplay awards (including an Oscar) for Pulp Fiction. In it, he himself, used the word "Nigger" several times in front of a bad ass "Nigga" – Juelz – and whose character was married to a "Nigger" – Bonnie.

    In this same film he Directed other actors (at least two) to use the word "Nigger" to describe Black men, either in their company, or as a means of describing some arbitrary gun toting, drug selling Black man. To top it off, he used a hillbilly to sodomize and torture the most menacing "Nigger" in the film.

    Let’s let the truth be told. Quentin Tarantino likes using the word Nigger. He doesn’t mind emasculating Black men one bit and he certainly will use them to sell his movies.

  • RACISM IS A FANTASY | December 24, 2013 1:45 PM

    and i suppose Samuel L Jackson was forced at gunpoint to use the N word in Jackie brown
    black actors take the script that catches their eye
    instead of picking and choosing which ones might not tip toe around this or that

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:33 PM

    As long as we're complaining about emasculation, as I recall the hillbilly in question got his balls blown clean off. I'd say the hillbilly lost that battle.

  • H Smith | December 24, 2012 9:05 AMReply

    With all do respect Spike... Your showing your true colors here... Why be envious ???? Why don't you go talk to Jamie Foxx or Kerry Washington.... This movie does not disrespect it. Don't tell us you won't see it , that's a total lie....

    This year two of greatest films - django and Beasts of the southern wild were written by white writers ..... Sorry but does that mean we should not watch them.. The very idea that a person of another color can't show empathy and compassion about another race is just wrong.

  • wtf | December 24, 2012 9:05 AMReply

    This is the same guy who won multiple best writing/screenplay awards (including an Oscar) for Pulp Fiction. In it, he himself, used the word ‘Nigger’ several times in front of a bad ass ‘Nigga’ – Juelz – and whose character was married to a ‘Nigger’ – Bonnie.

    In this same film he Directed other actors (at least two) to use the word ‘Nigger’ to describe ‘Black men,’ either in their company, or as a means of describing some arbitrary gun toting, drug selling Black man. To top it off, he used a hillbilly to sodomize and torture the most menacing Nigger in the film.

    Let’s let the truth be told. Quentin Tarantino likes using the word Nigger. He doesn’t mind emasculating Black men one bit and he certainly will use them to sell his movies.

  • felicia | December 24, 2012 8:49 AMReply

    I will not support this movie the alantic slave trade was not some type of warrior event. It was horrible , disgusting time for my ancestors. 40 million black people died. It was worser than the holocaust. Dgango is a fiction character in a movie that is based of a real event. He was faught for his freedom, then went to rescue his wife. I seen clips im a trailer of dgango laughing. Slaves were laughing, there nothing fun about slavery, . This movie makes it seem like slavery wasn't that bad . Black slaves started to fight to be freed close to the end of slavery not the beginning. If they were going to make a warrior movie .based of slavery. Why couldn't they make a movie about frederick Douglas .

  • SloppyJ30 | December 31, 2012 1:35 PM

    I'll need to see something to back up your implied claim that no slave ever smiled.

  • frank | December 27, 2012 4:53 PM

    felicia, learn to spell, and punctuate. or do what spike lee should have done and see the whole movie, and then comment.

    this movie has some of the most graphic depictions of the brutality of slavery and it is not treated lightly. it is treated as the disgusting thing that it was. and it was actually made. i would like to take this opportunity to ask spike lee, mr. quintessential black filmmaker to make the movie that deals with the american slave trade in a realistic, and sensitive way. personally, i think mr. lee should shut up and get to work. make the movie that should be made. tarrantino has come closer than any yet. for lee to not watch it for some (by definition, ignorant) reason is just that ignorant, of the facts.

    also the film accurately portrays the moral ambiguities of many of the characters, black and white. django is a real hero, in an epic sense. it is a fictional story that takes place during an actual historical period. a movie should be made about douglas, and nat turner for that matter, but this is an epic american film that very well, answers a history of weak and actually offensive portrayals of blacks, and slavery.

    i am african american, and i thank tarrantino for creating this character, who in a symbolic way mirrors my life, in which i have stood up to hateful racists as their equal and often superior, and forced them to respect me.

    i also am a bit angry at spike lee, not only for his inaccurate and uninformed comments, but also for dropping the ball by not making the movie that deals with slavery in a way that is both realistic and uplifting.

    i repeat, mr. lee, get to work.

  • Nick | December 24, 2012 11:43 AM

    * the not they. Gotta love auto correct.

  • Nick | December 24, 2012 11:41 AM

    There are so many spelling and grammatical errors in your comment, it was tough to understand. But once I got past your incorrect usage of the English language, I gathered that you are basing your opinions off a trailer. You haven't even seen the movie! "the movie makes it seem like slavery wasn't that bad". Why don't you see the movie first? They can't show all the horrible things in a dang trailer, as trailers must be approved for all audiences. The only reason this is an issue is because a white boy made they movie. If a black man made it, everyone would eat it up.

  • cineman | December 24, 2012 6:30 AMReply

    Lee's bitterness and envy towards Tarantino knows no bounds. He would love DJANGO to be a flop because he didn't make it, and desperately wants to dissuade any African-Americans from a trip to the flicks. Hopefully he'll be ignored.

  • PBYRD | December 24, 2012 4:16 AMReply

    That being said, he's probably already seen it and just wants to make a scene. That's just his personality.

  • PBYRD | December 24, 2012 4:28 AM

    Also Quentin has stated in several interviews about how emotional he himself became during shooting. Especially during the scene where Kerry Washington's character is whipped. Quentin said that at one point he was filming blindly because the eyepiece had filled with tears. That goes to show you that he isn't the insensitive jerk Spike Lee is making him out to be.

  • KeepItReal | December 24, 2012 3:43 AMReply

    If he chooses to honor his ancestors that suffered through slavery by not watching the movie, that is his choice and I respect that choice. I intend to see the movie Tuesday. My hope is that QT depicted the horror, inhumane treatment, and downright brutal ugliness of the American slave with as much realism as he could muster. American growth and prosperity was built on the backs of millions of Africans taken against their will from their homes and they were never compensated for their contribution. I hope the African Americans who are a part of this film have/will be compensated handsomely.

  • No | December 23, 2012 11:19 PMReply

    Has anyone seen Lee's masterpiece, Red Hook Summer? Lee could have made a film about slavery, but has chosen not to. Instead, he seems to want to block others (especially whites) from doing so. So, what if it's done as a Spaghetti Western? The only decent thing he's done in the 5 years was Inside Man. Miracle at St. Anna was one one of the worst war movies I've even seen. Lee certainly has the skills to be a great director, but he let's his hubris get in the way. "Oh, I'm not going to see this film" and this use his "ancestors" as a pre-text to hide his enviousness and pettiness. As Isabelle Sanford once said on The Jeffersons, "Nigger, please..."

  • No | December 23, 2012 11:23 PM

    And let's not forget that Leesian classic: Bamboozle, where he had whites standing up in audiences proclaiming themselves to be "niggers"!!

  • Franco Unamerican | December 23, 2012 10:14 PMReply

    Doesn't Spike Lee Know You're Not Supposed To Type Like This? It Makes You Look Like A Freaking Idiot.

  • Dennis | December 23, 2012 10:11 PMReply

    It's too bad our most prominent African-American director is also the director (of any race) most publicly bitchy and resentful about every other director. What a jerk. There were a few years when his jerkdom could be overlooked because his talent seemed larger than his petty behavior, but the ratio between them has long since reversed.

  • Yod | December 23, 2012 9:58 PMReply

    Spike Lee won't be watching a movie? I'm devastated. I'm not sure I can continue living.

  • Bob Roberts | December 23, 2012 9:34 PMReply

    What are you guys talking about "Zero Dark Thrirty" -endorses torture """"spin"""". What spin?????? It does. No matter how brutal torture is depicted it ultimately justifies it though an "end justifies the means" argument. Stop being complete film heads and not see how important apologizing for torture is. You can criticize a narrative movie (esp. one in which the directors claim to have a journalistic approach to it) based on real world facts. It's OK....

    Please actually read up on the subject before dubbing it "spin".

    "For that reason, to depict X as valuable in enabling the killing of bin Laden is - by definition - to glorify X. That formula will lead huge numbers of American viewers to regard X as justified and important. In this film: X = torture. That's why it glorifies torture: because it powerfully depicts it as a vital step - the first, indispensable step - in what enabled the US to hunt down and pump bullets into America's most hated public enemy." - G. Greenwald

  • Maria | December 23, 2012 9:22 PMReply

    It's hilarious to hear Lee express mock outrage at this film when far more talented African American like Foxx and Jackson seem to have no problem with it. In addition to many of his overrated films (Malcolm X being the notable exception - masterpiece) being mysogynistic and stereotyping other minorities (DTWT is offensive to Italian Americans on numerous levels), this is the same man who has shilled for Nike most of his adult life while they exploited child laborwhere kids live ( in some cases) in conditions worse than American slaves....

  • Maria | December 23, 2012 9:31 PM

    ...also, Will Smith described the screenplay as "amazing"

  • Movie Watcher | December 23, 2012 8:56 PMReply

    Spike Lee disrespected not only his ancestors but himself when he made Miracle at St. Anna.

  • America | December 23, 2012 8:22 PMReply

    It's just a movie. Some people have good imaginations. Spike has never envisioned an interesting world. Quentin has envisioned many.

  • Asia | December 23, 2012 7:25 PMReply

    I am not that much of a Spike Lee fan. I respect him as an artist and his contribution. However I am not going to see this film . I find no interest in any film dealing with slavery. It is not entertainment. It does not educate because people do not listen or seem to comprehend how offensive these films are. It immortalize a time that other people owned and treated others harshly. I understand Spike Lee's perspective but its not mine. I choose not to sit through 2 hours of a movie, feeling appalled at its events and trying to figure why in the world people find this entertaining. Do they not realize that to others this was a reality that was condoned and excused by the government And society. Real people and their families had to live through this. People whose relative live today. How is watching a movie going to create anything, but anger and resentment, fueling what is happening today.

  • Sean | December 23, 2012 6:48 PMReply

    Dear Spike Lee, Your a great filmmaker, GREAT. QT is a great filmmaker, GREAT. I feel like you both will certainly go down (for both your filmography's) included in some of the best filmmakers to come around. But Spike you should see the film 1st before saying anything AT ALL. Come on now you know that's not right. Your talking from ignorance man, thats not kool. See the film then comment as much as you like esp from QT, who's a prominent name in the business (not some newbie wannabe hack) The END... P.S.... Spike stop whining so much, esp regarding QT (with all due respect). Don't you think the African American actors would boycott the film if it was all that bad?!? Make some good films Spike plz, I for one, miss your movies!

  • TK | December 23, 2012 6:36 PMReply

    Spike has a right to not see it for those reasons. However, if he wants the legacy of his ancestors to be remembered properly, then he should refrain from rhetoric that faslifies such events. Slavery was not "a holocaust", since the word means burning. It really shouldn't be applied in this case (it's only used of the Jewish extermination situation because they were LITERALLY burned in ovens). Second, not all slaves were "stolen" from Africa. Many were sold to white men by other Africans who enslaved them first. That is a fact. But it's a fact that certain African-American people prefer to ignore. White people have to live with their history warts and all, and so does every other people.

  • TK | December 24, 2012 7:11 AM

    *sigh* To my commenters:
    Yes, I know that not all Jews were burned; but that is why the word "holocaust" was applied to those events. And while since that time many people have started using it to mean genocide, it bothers me because that is stretching the word beyond its original meaning. We have other words that would apply. Slavery was inhuman, barbaric, and destructive, but holocaust really doesn't apply.
    Yes, I know that some were literally burned by the KKK, and thought about that before posting. But the KKK rose after emancipation, and thus is a separate issue from the institution of slavery. Continued racial hatred is a distinctive issue. I never said Nazi victims hold exclusive rights to the term "holocaust". Many others have to, like the early Christians who were burned by Romans.

    I'm not taking guilt OFF of white people by saying that some were sold by Africans. I just mention it to counter the word "stolen", when they were bought. Yes, white treatment of these slaves was generally unimaginably worse. ...But just how did this slave trade start anyway?

    I'm not putting all black people under one umbrella. I said "CERTAIN African-American people" ignore these facts. I'm not trying to shove things in anyone's face. Heck, my ancestors go back to the Mayflower and I have to deal with the implications of that regarding the Native American people. But there are some who espouse a "pan-African" philosophy that seems to believe that all Africa can do no wrong and that all the evils of the world are of European origin. Certainly this doesn't represent all or even most African-American people today.

    No ill will meant. I just prefer words to mean what they mean and to be used more appropriately especially when dealing with such intense emotional issues.

  • Kayte | December 24, 2012 12:26 AM

    Slavery was most definitely a holocaust, and worse! And by the way, not all Nazi holocaust victims were burned - many were gassed, starved, or shot. And many enslved Black people were burned quite literally at the stake by the KKK. So please. Nazi victims do not hold exclusive rights to suffering through a holocaust.

  • Django | December 23, 2012 10:47 PM

    Those white people were not forced to buy those Africans. I'm sick of the argument that because SOME Africans were sold by other Africans that that somehow lessens the role of white people in the slave trade. Once they got to America, they weren't sold by other black people. White people were still the biggest buyers and sellers in the slave trade. Their role far outweighs the others (Native American and some blacks owned slaves as well). Some quick questions: Did the Africans know what they were selling other Africans into, especially seeing as how the African practice of slavery was different from what became the American practice? If they did know, do you think they would have still sold them to the Europeans? What do you think the Europeans would have done had the Africans told them no, we won't sell you these people (whether slaves or free men)? Would they turn around empty handed after making the long, dangerous journey to get there in ther first place or would they pull out their guns and force them like they forced the others (the ones who weren't "sold to white men by other Africans who enslaved them first")? Lastly, African-American people don't prefer to ingore that part of history. It has been well documented and shoved in our faces numerous times. Malcolm X even spoke on it. It still does not diminish the role that white people played in the "holocaust" (Spike's word) of black people.

  • Lila | December 23, 2012 10:35 PM

    That is true. However, it is not that African-American people choose to "ignore" that fact, it's just that they know that the whites were just as guilty as the Africans for buying human beings, packing them like sardines, and shipping them to the "new world." There's no reason to ignore it, as it doesn't make the white men any less responsible.
    Plus, holocaust can mean mass-murder or genocide, which is still not quite slavery, true, but in many ways, slavery was much worse.

  • bear | December 23, 2012 7:56 PM

    as a black man and fan of Spike and QT thank you TK that is something that most of us ignore or dont know... im just glad i do

  • Scott | December 23, 2012 4:42 PMReply

    I think it's kind of petty to trash a movie before you see it or refuse to see it because you might not enjoy it, but with a racially charged movie like this I guess it's inevitable that Spike would say something. However, it seems as though Spike isn't straight out bashing Django, and to be fair he posted this to his twitter for his followers and QT fans shouldn't really give a shit

  • fry | December 23, 2012 3:58 PMReply

    I liked what Jonathan Rosenbaum said about the film, a remark he posted inside his review of 'Mandingo' while mentioning some relevant slavery films: "Quentin Tarantino’s thigh-slapping Django Unchained — a film so historically whimsical that it can show us a slave who’s an expert marksman, can read, and even puts on sunglasses after he becomes a free man — clearly isn’t one of them; at best it’s another Tarantino True Life Adventure for ten-year-old boys — ten-year-old girls need not apply."

  • Q | December 23, 2012 3:38 PMReply

    The difference between IB and Django is of particular relevance to America. Django deals with slavery, the implications of which still haunt and influence this country in less obvious and more institutionalized ways than Hitler and the Holocaust.

    I respect Spike's take on this, he is representing a more profound aspect of the argument- the chain remains.

  • Kayte | December 23, 2012 11:26 PM

    "Ten year old girls need not apply". That right there is the point exactly.

    While Tarantino wants Americans and especially Black boys to sympathize, empathize and then lionize Black men because of their suffering (and apparent heroism) in slavery, and thus cheer them on, the continued lack of empathy or sympathy, or heroism is not warranted for Black girls. Why should I go see a movie where Black women are not seen as women who also deserve to take revenge on their abusers, who should not be empathized with - in continuance of the trend of separating Black men and Black women almost as if of different races, with Black women undeserving of sympathy, and Black girls undeserving of a hero/heroine. This movie could of easily had the Bonnie and Clyde of slavery, but that would not match with the recent American trend of trying to weaken and minimize Black women.

    If Kerry Washingon is a raped slave who later becom s a comfort girl at "Candy land" (laughable), then she should also have turned around to be the Harriet Tubman of harriet Tubmans and join Django in his slaughterhouse revenge on slavers and the KKK. Instead, shes some weak pathetic character who is to just sit there and "take it", and give nothing back. Sorry Hollyweird, the "breaking"/"taming" of Black women won't work, no matter how much trashy propaganda you choose to put out.

    Sorry, the white weirdo Tarantino can keep his trash version of slavery.

  • Quentin Tarantino | December 23, 2012 3:34 PMReply

    He<s mad cause KFC is prob closed

  • matt d | December 23, 2012 2:31 PMReply

    would somebody give that man a lollipop! I liked Red Hook Summer...

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