Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx has stepped up to address the backlash his new flick has received at the hands of renowned moviemaker Spike Lee over its perceived irresponsible usage of the N-word.
In Foxx’s opinion, Lee has a knack for going against a slew of established Black actors and directors.
Foxx has his phone in his hand and his cap on his head, the peak twisted off-centre so that it points to two-o’clock. I’m barely through the door when he’s returning fire, defending the film for all that he’s worth. “The question for me is: where’s Spike Lee coming from?” he says. “He didn’t like Whoopi Goldberg, he doesn’t like Tyler Perry, he doesn’t like anybody, I think he’s sort of run his course. I mean, I respect Spike, he’s a fantastic director. But he gets a little shady when he’s taking shots at his colleagues without looking at the work. To me, that’s irresponsible.” (The Guardian)
He also turned the debate up a notch by pointing out iconic White entertainers who were and are known for being influenced by Black culture.
Besides, he adds, the history of entertainment is littered with white guys who told black stories, and white singers who sang black songs. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s bad. “But you got to look at the individual cases. When Pat Boone covered Little Richard, you think, ‘Huh?’, he’s got no affinity for it. Good Golly Miss Molly? I don’t think so. But you can’t tell me that Eminem ain’t hot ‘cos he’s white or that Elvis Presley isn’t a bad motherf*cker, or that Quentin Tarantino can’t do whatever he likes, ‘cos d*mn straight he can.” (The Guardian)
Recently, New York rap veteran Talib Kweli weighed in on the discussion and said he understood Spike’s argument.
“The word ‘N*gga’ in the movie Django Unchained was perfect — when you’re having arguments and people are weighing in on social networks, what the actual argument is gets lost. Spike Lee, even though he’s had problems in the past with Quentin using the word ‘N*gga’ in his films, in Reservoir Dogs, in Pulp Fiction, that was never his issue with this film. He never said, ‘My issue is…’ People assumed that was his issue. His issue was, ‘Slavery was, to my ancestors, such an important topic that if you’re going to make a film about it, it needs to be treated as serious subject matter.” (Hot 97)
The established filmmaker has received ample backlash from calling out Django Unchained last month, notably from 2 Live Crew’s Uncle Luke who blasted him in an open blog post earlier in the week.
“Screw Spike Lee. Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime. It’s why the movie took home a Golden Globe award for best screenplay over the weekend and why it was recently nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Since Django Unchained hit the theaters, Lee has been publicly trashing Tarantino. In announcing his personal boycott of the movie, the Do The Right Thing filmmaker tweeted, “American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western,” and “It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.” (Miami New Times)