Quentin Tarantino Defends Language In Django Unchained

Tags: Quentin Tarantino - Spike Lee

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Quentin Tarantino has never been one to shy away from controversial subjects in his film, be it via graphic violence or explicit language. His latest film, Django Unchained, characteristically, showcases both, but it's the latter that has enflamed debate. 

With the 'N-word' being used prolifically in the film, the detractors have been quick to air their political and ethical grievances. Spike Lee, talking to Vibe.com, said, "I am not going to see it (the film). I am not seeing it. It would be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film." He added in a post on his Twitter.com page, "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a Holocaust. My ancestors are slaves. Stolen from Africa. I will honour them."

Quentin Tarantino, though, defends the film and the choices in dialogue. "I think it's kind of ridiculous (the criticism), because 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."

A similar controversy occurred within Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, a book in which the 'N-word' features almost 220 times. A new edition came out in 2011, without the offensive word, which was designed for children to use in school, such is the pertinence of studying the book as a piece of seminal literature. This decision was also condemned due to fears that America was rubbing out its tarred history with slavery. 

 


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