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Spike Lee Won’t See ‘Django Unchained,’ Says “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western”

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

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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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


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.

mimi sanders

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.


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?


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


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.


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

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."

Jimmy Jo JO

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.


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

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.


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


Still waiting for the remake of "Mandingo".


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.


What does city boy know about Westerns anyway.



gena torres



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.


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

Van Iblis

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.

Derek O'Brien

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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

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


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

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


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.


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.


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!


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!


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


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


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….


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.

H Smith

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.


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.


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 .


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.


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


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.


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…"

Franco Unamerican

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

Dennis Harvey

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.


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

Bob Roberts

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


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….

Movie Watcher

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


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


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.


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!


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.


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


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."


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.

Quentin Tarantino

He<s mad cause KFC is prob closed

matt d

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


It's his opinion, which he's entitled to, but I do think he should see the film first. I'd actually be curious to hear his thoughts on the film after watching it. It would also be, you know… the fair thing to do.


Spike Lee made Malcolm X, Moe Better Blues, Crooklyn, Do the Right Thing and School Dayz…..he is unquestionably the best movie director in depicting the Black American experience….Anyone who thinks "his films are of exercises in self pity and childish mythologizing about black identity and pride." Is not paying attention, has not seen his films or is so foreign to the experiences his films embody that they cannot comprehend them. nothing QT has a voyueristic obsession with the black experience that is thoroughly uninformed his understanding of it is limited, cheap and cliche at best. The whole premise and approach of Django is a "cartooning" of slavery that educated, culturally aware individuals easily see through and can do without. Blaxploitation 2013?…no thanks.


"American Slavery Is Not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a holocaust." So I assume that he didn't watch Inglourious Basterds then? And if I do a web search, I'll find that he had similar objections to that film, right?


Tarantino is a major artist. I thought the concept of his "inglorious bastards" movie to be exploitative but after seeing it I was charmed by his sincerity and the general sense of goodhearted fun. Who can argue with reservoir dogs, and pulp fiction, and Jacky Brown. All are films people will still watch in 100 years. What has Spike Lee done of this magnitude? Basically his films are of exercises in self pity and childish mythologizing about black identity and pride. They are all of limited interest and who will care since in 100 years neither white America nor black America will even exist except in history books and artistic works. whole of humanity and they don't ring true. As to Tarantino's film I have not seen it either but I think we need an honest film about slavery. I think that since "birth of a nation" white people have been afraid to face and talk about what really went down. How could so many of basically normal people have allowed something so totally wrong to happen? Why didn't more people stand up like John Brown, pick up a rifle and just say NO! We have to deal with this from a White perspective but most White artists are basically afraid of the topic. Commercially the studios fear the public is just not ready. Lately, all Hollywood has given us about race in the 18th century is "Gone-with the wind" and "Blazing Saddles". Even if the work involves black authors it seems to end up giving us sentimental crap like "roots" or "uncle toms cabin".


Who gives a shit of what Spike Lee thinks ? Why is this news ???


If this country is concern about the true history of slavery, it can start by telling the truth about the real brutal and inhumane events of that time period. This can be achieve by instituting in the public school system and colleges through the country accurate text books about slavery and qualify teachers and professors to teach the subject. The treatment African men, women and children suffer at the hand of their so-called masters and the roles so-called civilize human being played in these despicable actions can never be realize in 2 to 3 hours. A movie can never depict the real horrors of slavery in this country. In 2012 a few days away from 2013 why is slavery still the only subject that we as American are afraid to openly discuss?
Django Unchained along with root and others movies only gives you glimpses of the horrors of slavery in America. Those movies real motive and objective are to make money for the new master, not to enlighten the world or to correct a wrong. We as intelligent consumers need to wake up to that fact and stop looking to entertainers and movie makers as the keeper of history.


Spike needs to make better movies and shut his mouth.

Despite his money, Spike is a miserable little man.


Spike Lee is a hack. Red Hook Summer is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. He needs to stop being so sensitive, because he's coming off as envious of Quentin Tarantino.


The fucking white people are to blame for everything. And Obama is not black at all.


Spike Lee is an idiot!


I enjoy most of your films Spike. You are a true artist and gifted story teller. But GET OVER YOURSELF!

David Peñasco Maldonado

Who cares what Spike Lee has to say about nothing? Year after year this man has become more and more irrelevant, and he needs to do his angry negro routine to get headlines: "Oh, QT is pissing me again! And Clint Eastwood doesn't include enough African Americans in his movies! And where the fuck is my motherfucking Oscar?". He's pathetic.


Spike doesn't like Quentin. I think this has been well documented. Spike's issue with this film is that it was written and directed by a white guy, and that the whit guy was Quentin. If it had been done by Singleton, one of the Hughes Brothers, or Fuqua, he would be all about this film. Spike is a great director when he wants to be, but I've long since stopped listening to him when it comes to much else.


I see the point of what he's saying. The script read to me as a hard-hitting, fierce indictment of the institution of slavery. It was uncomfortable and angry. it had an edge and the bitter taste of injustice in its mouth. it seemed as if it was going to promote heavy discussion as well as heavy discomfort at the multiplexes. A brutal abstraction that did not shy away from the inhumane nature of the era.

Here was a script with a deep sadness present and a lump in the back of its throat. It READ like that to me and there was a sort of necessary gravitation to interpret it as such.

But, looking back, there was also room for a comic abstraction, room to ridicule slavery with glee and have a good time doing it. to make audiences comfortable and entertain them while easing the pain and discomfort with charismatic uplift. to make people rejoice in showcasing the institution's downfall on a microcosmic level. i have not seen the film yet, but can already tell you i prefer the former interpretation.

i think it is important to note that Spike Lee hasnt called the film 'racist' or accused any individual of being disrespectful but rather he has attacked the film's interpretation: 'slavery was not a spaghetti western.' One would have to agree its not the first thing thats comes to mind as the gaze through which to view such an inhumane era of our history who's ramifications are ever present today. That's a story really worth telling.


"And while we're all for criticism, we'd urge Lee to least see the movie before speaking out against it."

Uh , i'm sure Spike Lee values your advice and comes to blogs like this to be told how he should think…


I agree. I wont see this. i did not see roots , glory, or amistad either. lavery is not entertainment. Its buisness goddammit!!!


"this prompted further debate and Lee stayed online for a while last night to read and respond to comments (it's worth a browse)". What it's worth a browse? Rants as: "Grow The Fuck Up And Learn Some History.RETART"?

Oh yeah, sure.

It seems that Lee suffers from hate issues and has a conservative, moralizing and patronizing mind.

Although he has some great films.


"My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." – By donning the materialistic bullshit hats, sports-jersey's and Nike shoes made in sweatshops in third world countries? Hmm, I guess his sympathies begin and end with black people. Also, doesn't he wear "bling?" Ya know, which consists of blood diamonds found in Africa?

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