Spike Lee doesn't believe Quentin Tarantino is appropriately portraying slavery
"I can't speak on it 'cause I'm not gonna see it," Lee 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."
He followed up his statement on Twitter, posting “ American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.It Was A Holocaust.My Ancestors Are Slaves.Stolen From Africa.I Will Honor Them.”
“Django,” which opens on Christmas Day, is a Western mixed with the story of a slave’s revenge, a revisionist tale of history much like “Inglorious Basterds” was for World War II and the Holocaust. It stars Jamie Foxx as a slave freed at the outset by Christoph Waltz, a bounty hunter. Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) and Django (Foxx) then hunt down a plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who possesses Django’s wife.
Like most of Tarantino's work, it blends extreme violence with humor and serious filmmaking with a sense of flair.
Tarantino has not responded to Lee's comment, but he has answered questions about “Django” and race in the past, specifically his use of a certain racial epithet.
"I think it's kind of ridiculous,” he told MTV News. “No one can actually say with a straight face that we use the word more than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi. So since they can't say that, what they're basically saying is I should lie. I should pretty it up. I should lie, and I don't lie when it comes to my characters and the stories I tell."
This is not the first time Lee has criticized Tarantino, rebuking the director’s extensive use of the same epithet in the film “Jackie Brown.”
"I'm not against the word … and I use it, but Quentin is infatuated with the word,” Lee told Variety. “What does he want? To be made an honorary black man?”
In a subsequent interview he said, “I have a definite problem with Quentin Tarantino’s excessive use of the N-word. And let the record show 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.”
Spokespeople for the Weinstein Company, which is releasing the film, and William Morris Endeavor, which represents Tarantino, did not return requests from TheWrap for comment.