Spike Lee: "Django Unchained" is "disrespectful to my ancestors"

The famous film director refuses to see Tarantino's latest movie

Published December 26, 2012 3:15PM (EST)

Over the weekend, director Spike Lee told VibeTV that he refuses to see Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," the violent slavery-era Western that came out on Tuesday. "I cant speak on it 'cause I'm not gonna see it," he said. "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors. That's just me...I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody else." Lee also 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.”

And the New York Times notes that "Django" makes use of a particularly offensive racial epithet at least 100 times over the course of the film -- a point Lee has taken issue with before. The Hollywood Reporter notes that in 1997, following the release of Tarantino's "Jackie Brown," Lee said, "I have a definite problem with Quentin Tarantino's excessive use of the n-word. And let the record state that I never said that he cannot use that word -- I've used that word in many of my films -- but I think something is wrong with him."

Despite the controversy surrounding Tarantino's latest film, "Django" has done surprisingly well in the box office, breaking the opening record for an R-rated release on Christmas Day.



By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Django Unchained Quentin Tarantino Slavery Spike Lee Western Movies