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Surprise! Spike Lee Won’t See ‘Django Unchained,’ Calls It ‘Disrespectful To Ancestors’

Surprise! Spike Lee Won't See 'Django Unchained,' Calls It 'Disrespectful To Ancestors'

Ok, so maybe it’s not exactly much of a surprise.

Although, compared to what Jamie Foxx said Spike Lee shared with him of his stance on the upcoming film (which opens on X-mas day), this is much less vague.

‘‘I’m not going to say anything bad about this film. It looks like y’all are getting it,” is what Jamie said Spike told him, when they talked about the film. I suppose that could’ve been interpreted in any number of ways. From our POV, it looked like Spike was indeed giving Jamie his blessing – especially when he says, “it looks like y’all are getting it.

Skip ahead about a week to today, in a new interview with Spike Lee (courtesy of Vibe TV), in which he’s much more candid and clearer on how he feels about Django Unchained.

“I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… 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.”

And as for how we here at S&A feel about the movie, there’s a nice one-two punch of opinions. In case you missed them, both Tambay and Sergio have seen and reviewed Django Unchained – read Sergio’s positive review HERE; and read Tambay’s less enthusiastic and more critical review HERE.

Watch the Vibe interview with Spike below:

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Am I the only one that fell asleep during this movie? I'm not kidding, I would have walked out in between naps if there wasn't 10 people next to me who I would have had to squeeze past to get out of the damn theatre. Two hours and forty minutes of total shit. Hollywood ran out of original ideas a long time ago, now we've dropped the standard to accept movies that are the equivalent of 80's garbage like Teen Wolf. It's high time these so called critics upped their standards to quality, instead of down to a price. Truly awful.


Spike Lee needs to stop. I saw the movie and liked it. Don't critisize something you have not seen. That is like saying you don't like a certain food without tasteing it. I loved must of Mr. Lee's movies but would never say harsh words with viewing the film first. The movie shows the harshness of slavery and the things our ancestor had to endure in order for us to be here today. Go see the movie Spike or shut up.

Robt C

Great! I've heard Cretin Retardino put down the original Shaft and Roots, which are far more intelligent and well made than his ripoff B-movie trash. No wonder Sergio the simpleton liked it.


Did anyone ever ask Spielberg his opinion on "Basterds"?


Regardless of his view, his opinions carries a lot of weight and can hurt the box office of the another man's work including the work of all the actors, production company, investors, etc… As a director and film maker its very selfish for him to publicly trash the work of one of his peers so he can get headlines. This is why a lot of studios wont work with him.

Mark & Darla

How much you want to bet when Spike Lee thinks of his historic respectable female ancestors there are all fair skin.


100+ comments that run the gamut…awesome! Spike has the right to have an opinion, to decide his own reasons for supporting or not supporting a project. Just as we all do and have expressed here. So why is he being indicted for doing so?? "I'm not a hater just because I hate it."


Even though, Spike has occassionally come off like Tavis Smiley(of black cinema). I think the essence of his arguement rings true, afterall, he's been dogmatically consistant thruout his career, regardless of his 'elistist(N.Y.) posture'…like his (technocract-forebearers)-Al Sharton-Jesse Jackson-Molefi Ashante or Steve Cokeley…but let us not forget the STING of Spike Lee's wholesale indicment of racist Hollywhite flips more pages than the Final Call…


This dude never has anything positive to say about other black directors. If this ain't a hater, I don't know what is. It looks dried up, bitter and monster-like. Time to retire your mouth Spike.


i can see where spike lee is coming from here tarantino's films aren't made for educational purposes .The violence in the basterds movie had nothing to do with historical facts to think that movies like that.Are depictions of history is just plain ignorant people like to make mountains out of ant hills.Tarantinos movies are purely made for entertaining people not to enlighten people we need to keep things in there proper context.There was no jewish militia men going around scalping germans.Just like there was no slave bounty hunter like django tarantinos movies just glorify violence.People need to start seeing things for what they are


I think what's disrespectful is not that this particular film was made, but that there are not more movies about our ancestors being made. There were similar complaints about Inglourious Basterds, but I think the impact was much less because the Jewish community has a slew of films like Schindler's List and others. That's what we need, more movies about black ancestors so that one silly film is not so offensive to people. BTW I saw Django and loved it.


It's sad to read these comments on this subject. It's obvious that most of you need a little history lesson to understand what Spike Lee is talking about. A little self pride and dignity goes a long way. Know thyself and open your eyes this crap they are shoving down your throat. We seem to be the only race that accept this. If we stop spending our money on it then they will produce better movies for us. Buffoonery. If you knew our history you would know that our ancestors contributed more than the slave trade.

Ella Hamilton

Spike Lee you are an Angry and Irrelevant little man whose time has past. You should have married a black woman like our President. Maybe you would have become more than a flash in the pan. When was the last time one of your movies broadcasted? Hummmm

blah, blah

So I am the 100th comment, does that mean I win a prize? I hope so because I rarely win anything :/ Anyway, Spike hates anything that Spike didn't write/direct himself.


Look its Jesse Jackson! Oh wait, its Spike Lee.. hard to tell the difference.


C'mon folks Just 3 more and we'll have 100 comments!


I'm not black. I'm not white. So in that sense I really do not have an argument or opinion one way or the other on the issue of slavery except to say that of course, it is morally wrong.

I am mexican, however, so I believe that my opinion of illegal immigration and our laws in the U.S. governing it could merit more consideration than that of the average black or white american. My personal opinion is irrelevant to the argument however, and the argument is this: I will go see Django Unchained because I like tarantino movies and because it will entertain me, which is its sole purpose.

It is just the same as me watching George Lopez in Bread and Roses chastise his Mexican employees, or watching stereotypical drug cartels in Savages, or even and especially watching Machete, Where white people kill Mexicans for the fun of it.

It's just entertainment, and it doesn't mean anything.


I wonder if there's any director or celebrity, Black or White, that could have answered this question the way Spike did and it be more acceptable to folks. Is it the messenger that's the problem, or the message as well?


Unfortunately, Spike's successes tend to become secondary to his prickly personality. Simply put, he doesn't play well with others. He has expended his gravitas.


As Spike has gotten older he has really shown a different side of himself …He can't support his fellow artists because this movie is made by a white person…I don't get that at all…


Sorry Spike, you are way off base……Don't badmouth Jamie Foxx's film because you do not like it. Have some class and and support him like you would want him to support you. It is not like Mookie, whom you portrayed, set the fine example of what a brother should be like. When asked about a film you haven't seen, simply say, I will tell you after I have seen it. Then, don't go to see it if you don't want to. At least publicly compliment Foxx on his previous fine acting, brotha…..


Spike Lee was asked his opinion about this film, and he gave it. What's the big deal? Should he have lied to appease QT, White Hollywood, and some of you posters? SMH


Spike may have a larger good point to make but this is such a vague comment. If Spike had this script would it have been made?


As a woman, I found "Girl 6" extremely disrespectful– but I saw the movie, then came to that conclusion. "Django" is this year's "The Help"… (and "Precious" the year before that). I'm bracing myself for the debate that will continue throughout the award season.
Sometimes it feels like we want it both ways. "Why aren't we onscreen?" "Why are we onscreen like that again?" Thank you Ms. Duvernay for "Middle of Nowhere", because there was another vision of us to contrast "Django". Let's make sure there are a spectrum of options for all of our tastes.


Spike can say whatever he likes, but he's beginning to saound like the bitter old uncle at every family function. His ancestors were thoroughly pleased about a drunk and drugged out pilot(Flight), but a man who does nothing wrong but chase down his wife during the most horrendous era in history, is offensive to them? Yeah, 'cause we all know his kin who died on plantations were praying during their last breath that black men and women would play dope addicts (jungle Fever)and sex mules (She Hate Me) _/<<—Sit your ass down, man.


Envy is best defined as a resentful emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's (perceived) superior quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it."

Spike has always had a problem with other people's success .

Jason Marseilles

Sorry Spike you promote slavery when you were Nikes and blood diamonds…. You lose the argument on this one …

Deborah Feigel

Spike Lee is entitled to his own opinion, and I have to say the totally disparaging tone of Indiewire who don't know a thing about historical racism, is a huge disappointment.

Lee isn't so much talking about the film, as much as the industry environment that consistently demonstrates that it's prepared to hear from everyone BUT black filmmakers about the African-American experience.

That should make everyone sick.


Please baby baby please baby baby please baby please baby baby please Please baby baby please baby baby please baby please baby baby please Please baby baby please baby baby please baby please baby baby please! Spike's enjoying your bickering in his house in martha's vineyard. Meanwhile tarantino is somewhere with a gimp and fondling feet. Kerry, I hope you kept your shoes on!


To me, Spike seems to make calculated, deflective and preemptive moves. ie: his behavior at Sundance; setting up any criticism of Redhook Summer as racist or misguided. Now when so many good things are being said about Django, with a dash of somber stoicism, he brings up his ancestors.


I'm going to see it.. I was skeptic at first, but it looks to be a revenge flick, straight up. Seeing a brotha take revenge on evil slave masters is guaranteed satisfaction in my book.. As for Spike, he's entitled to his opinion.. no big deal.

Mark & Darla

It has a lot to do with Spike mind set. Spike has a serious problem with two green monsters (ENVY) and (JEALOUSY); he also has bad habits of 'cherry picking'.

Wonder how his ancestors feel about "Jungle Fever" or his penchants for light skin leading ladies.

Spike like to point his 'Malcolm X' index finger at white people for discrimination, yet he doesn't see he has a problem with colorism, which is a discrimination with in the black community as a whole.
I whether listen to someone else talking about injustice toward black people and not Spike.

Spike every think if he stop discrimination just maybe white people will stop.

Mark & Darla

Does anyone know if Spike congratulated Ava in the press for winning 'Sundance' 2012 director award?


Spike is a deceitful, disrespectful, shady, arrogant, fugged-up-body prick. He's always been that way. Yet, he is entitled to his perspective. Everybody is. Thus, where does his perspective derive from? Methinks, little spoke-in-da-wheel, takes himself too seriously. And obviously he believes he's the patron saint of Black Culture. LOL. His respectable negro programming is fake and a fraud. Especially, when I seen him on ESPN belittling another negro because he could not UNDERSTAND his southern drawl. Fugg Spike. He Peaked with Malcolm X (which is a landmark classic). Yet his opinions are not worthy of consideration.


Bee-intellectual laziness could be your mantra,get the bag of chips off your shoulder and stop living in the 60s-with your "our culture" horse shit,by "dominant group" I assume you mean multi-billionaires and dynastic clans? They too irritate me yet I do not see these things in terms of colour rather, class. You Americans keep on forgetting its only been 40 odd years since you entered the modern world of race equality-people need more than a few generations to stop being cavemen-sorry we cannot all be as enlightened as you, maybe you could not be so intolerant of others ignorance? You know practice what you preach?


I'm just going to say this plainly: it really is a sign of intellectual laziness and immaturity to simply label someone a hater because that person expresses an opinion with which you disagree. Anyway, I don't always agree with Spike Lee and goodness knows I've hated a few of his films (*Miracle at St. Anna, She Hate Me, She's Gotta Have It, etc.), but on this issue I agree with him. I'm not even saying they deserve a nomination, but the fact that none of the prominent black actors in the film got nominated for a golden globe (meanwhile, the prominent white actors received nominations) should speak volumes to all the negroes (yes, I said it!) defending this film and by extension defending hollywood. This film is merely another in a long line of films that exploits our history, our culture, and the horrific shit we suffered at the hands of the dominant group in this country. (Yes, I've read the script.) Worse yet, it's written and directed by a very unenlightened member of that dominant group. I'm appalled at how backwards and lazy we (slave-descended black Americans) have become in our thinking. At best, I will netflix this film, which is rather unlikely as well. But I sure won't spend a dime on it at the cinema.

Critical Acclaim

Beware Reginald Hudlin is taking fake pseudonyms and going in on Spike below. So all the white people on Indiewire who want to read this thread as evidence of how "the blacks" feel on Spike, beware you're being duped. Big ups to Mr. Lee.


Who cares if spike don't see the film. Django is getting rave reviews and millions of black people will see it. Spike if you want to make yourself useful why don't you talk to your own family member and found out why the hell did he direct Scary Movie 5. Better yet make a movie that is good because I can not remember the last time you have made one that was worth seeing. Red hook summer was a mess.


It's not like anyone pays spike any mind. When was the last time this guy had a hit. He is just made because millions if black people are about to see and love Django.


Agree with Rod Gailes comment. I also think Spike was making a diplomatic statement. Didn't sense any hate at all. I remember the interview he did against another slavery movie – Amistad – and when Spike doesn't like something he certainly doesn't hold back. Back then it was criticism that they (well mainly, Debbie Allen) ran to Spielberg to direct the movie instead of finding a black director. In '97 there were several good picks and Allen's excuse wasn't all that convincing. As to how he would know about the particulars of the film, seemed like almost everybody had a copy of the first draft of the script. Couple that with Spike's personal knowledge of QT (and probably seeing the later revised script) and it's not that big of a stretch for him to have a good idea of what to expect. Personally, I think Spike would have been happier with a documentary or a documentary type fictional film rather than a Western /Blaxploitation/violent gore-fest type of movie. Seems to me, with black historical movies/subjects, Spike's preference is to film close to the story rather than add things strictly for entertainment value. Regardless, it's his opinion and he's more than entitled to it esp. after doing Four Little Girls, Malcolm X, and the Katrina docs.

Rob D

I don't think he is being a hater he just has an opinion and he is voiced it. Don't hate the Man for voicing his opinion just because it differ's from yours.

My guess is the image of the main Character being so far from reality could be seen as disrespectful of the reality that Black Americans really faced in those times. We now live in a time where many of our youth don't even recognize the history of our culture or people, and this image could cause our youth to care even less about what we came from as a people.

Bohemian princess

I have no desire to see this film either. Guess that makes me a hater too. Some of you all need to just go have a seat.


I was watching some show that was discussing the film. I think tarantino finally got it out of his system. The N word was used over 100 times in Django.

Rod Gailes OBC

When famous people say something, people tend to view their comments with a higher level of scrutiny. If Spike had said, "No Comment," there'd still be a controversy. Spike was probably being as diplomatic as he could be given his personality and the situation at hand. He's a very honest man, especially about his opinions; and I've never known that honesty to be based in "hate" of any kind or jealousy.
A Tarantino-style, Blaxploitation tinged, spaghetti western set in slavery times with a comic edge: I can see why somebody might decline that one without it being a matter of "hate" per se. People sit out "The Boondocks." People sit out porn, The Kardashians, Real Housewives, etc. Saying, "I can't see that," as a matter of principle is very polite.


I remember when I was pumped to see Miracle at Santa Anna, waited three years for that flick about black soldiers in WW2 but when I finally got to see it, it sucked pretty bad. We were at war and our 2 leading black men were fighting over a white woman not against interracial dating but it was stupid and seems to be a theme in Spike Lee's joits. I'mpumped for Django. It should be ar real black hero fighting for the love of a black woman, ticket please.


How does he know the level of disrespect, or lack there of, if he hasn't even seen the movie? That's what I what to know.


If you are passed the 8th grade you SHOULD not use the word "hatin". SMH.
I think this is funny. Jamie, Kerry and Sam are the ones who took the risk in during the film and none of them are nominated for a Golden Globes.
Tarantino said:
With black audiences, they laugh, they just get it ( Django)," says Tarantino. "Part of the humor is stemming out of: `We were afraid of these idiots?'"

Yes, because the sole reason we were enslaved because we were afraid of idiots. Forget that African enslavement was a US government & World sponsored institution enforced with unimaginable brutality… we were just scared. I see Quentin has been wearing Dada and Wu Wear in his promotion of the movie.. he gets you….. Quentin is making fools out of a lot black people.


I smell trolls. Someone must've posted a link to this on


Don't worry Spike I am pretty sure Tarantino did not see your last film. As a matter of fact nobody did.


I used to like Spike Lee but it seems more and more that hr gas become just a hater and a has-been in Hollywood and else where. Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill movies are some of my favorites of all time aking with Spike's X. It's seems like if Spike foes not make it he's hating on it. Spike just shut up!


Spike is just mad because QT made another great film that will get many Oscar nods. What was the last good movie spike made agian.


WHY can’t anyone offer an honest OPINION without being called a hater? Dayum, people we need a new word. Lol. I decided not see “Madea Goes To Jail. And criticized it, sight unseen, for the buffoonery it was. Guess I’m a TP hater too. And I remember Spike having nothing but effusive praise for “Hustle and Flow, even though the central character was a pimp. So it’s not like he feels all Black actors need to take “Christ like” roles. Tarantino has essentially taken Melvin Van Peebles “Sweet Sweetback’s Baaaadass Song”, threw in a dash of a spaghetti western and “Roots”, and ran with it, in my opinion. Black actors gotta eat. It’s not surprising that they would attach themselves to a project with the cache of Tarantino. The main question to me is, would there be such a debate if the director were Black?

Emil B. Garuba

Poor Spike. Once a brilliant film maker, now all that's left is hate for others better than he is:(


Red Hook Summer is on Netflix currently…….it's a good movie from what I've seen.


I think, if anything, Spike critique Tyler and Tarintino for they aren't making motion pictures which exploit black culture. Tyler's movie may have some southern feel to them, and we enjoy them, but as viewers we don't have to take them seriously. However, for men like Spike who likes doing films focused on black people and black culture, people like Tyler put him in a box for financing since if he doesn't make a comedy where there is a joke every few minutes, the studios are like "why are you showing me this?"

As for Tarintino, we all know Tarintino idolizes a few directors and then takes the best from them and re-imagines it into something which some call original, and others call bad copies. In a sense, I can only assume Spike dislikes Tarintino's work for again, he believes Tarintino sees focuses only on the style and not the substance of things. Yeah, Django gets revenge, gets his woman and is a action hero, but maybe Spike is the type who isn't fond of romanticizing and using slavery as a sort of gimmick like Tarintino used the holocaust in his last movie.

I can only assume though. Personally, do I feel a bit odd about Tarintino using slavery to create a film? A bit, but at the same time, I'd be more upset if Hollywood start giving more award for slave and stereotypical portrayals than anything else.


I won't completely dismiss his opinion as hating. The interviewer should've followed up with a question asking Spike to explain what he means with that statement. How is it disrespectful to our ancestors especially if he hasn't seen it yet? That would've been my next question.


Spike Lee comes across as a hater the man's latest film Red Hook Summer or whatever it is called bombed didn't make any money. When was the last time Spike's had a hit movie? I think it was 2006 or something with Inside Man with Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster. Spike is simply jealous of Tarantino just like he hates on Tyler Perry. Tarantino must be doing something right if he can get A listers like Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Samuel L Jackson to be in Django Unchained. A list superstars don't just work for anybody they must believe in Tarantino's work to be in his film.


I REALLY hate it when somebody says that someone is "hatin" on someone else. But it sure sounds Spike is hatin'


A noble sentiment from Spike. I'm not sure I'm going to see Django either for lots of reasons but I got to wonder how Spike's logic jibes with a Mike Tyson show?

stefan verna

This is sad on Spike Lee's part. How can you diss a film without seeing it. He read the script before it was filmed, why didn't he come out against it then?


I think it is a great thing he did not see it. Django is getting great reviews and it will really be hard for Spike to trash somebody else film when his own to last films bombs hard and got trashed by critics.


I'm trying to remember a long time ago in a distant past when I was excited and looking forward to seeing a Spike Lee film…. wait now… hold up… let me think a minute…. uh ruh….hmm… OK I give up for now… but I read that Redhook Summer is… oh never mind.


means he lied to Jamie Fox or either Jamie lied to oprah or cathy hughes. starting to think Spike should be medicated. if spike had an alternative in theaters then I might consider his opinion but it's starting to get old.


Poor Spike. I remember when his name meant something in Hollywood.

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