'What Else Did They Call Black People Back Then?' Samuel L Jackson Defends Django Unchained's Use Of The 'N- Word'
With the controversy surrounding Django Unchained Stateside, Samuel L Jackson has been in no mood to let the heated debated surrounding director Quentin Tarantino’s handling of slavery issues and racist language cross over to the UK ahead of its release there.
Tarantino’s film is up for Best Picture at the Oscars next month, but it’s also come under fire for its portrayal of – among other things – slavery in the 1800s and its liberal usage of the ‘N- word’. Jackon’s already had plenty to say on that and, talking to The Independent, he moved quickly to shut down any talk of slavery too. "The movie is not about slavery," said the actor bluntly. "Slavery just happens to be a backdrop. Even Django is not trying to end slavery. He's just trying to get his girl back."
Returning to the use of the ‘N- word’ Jackson was again in typically forthright form. "Did they have another name to call the [black] people they were talking about at the time?" he shot at his reporter. "If you're going to deal with the language of the time, you deal with the language of the time. And that was the language of the time. I grew up in the South. I heard 'n*gger' all my life. I'm not disturbed by it." The debate over the script has clearly got to the stars involved with the film; just last week Quentin Tarantino had a meltdown on Channel 4 when questioned about those same issues, whilst at the Golden Globes he shocked the media by using the ‘N- word’ in a press conference. Given that the film itself is fiery enough, it says much that the build-up to it has arguably manage to supersede it.