Jamie Foxx attends the UK Premiere of ‘Django Unchained’ at the Empire Leicester Square on January 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
by Chris Witherspoon
Earlier this week Spike Lee was called out for his criticism of Quentin Tarantino’s slavery-themed hit Django Unchained.
Former 2 Live Crew member Luther Campbell called Lee an “Uncle Tom,” and Dick Gregory, the legendary activist and comedian also lashed out at Lee referring to him as a “thug” and a “punk.”
During an interview with the The Guardian, the film’s star, Jamie Foxx, gave his opinion of Lee, calling the 55-year-old director “shady” and “irresponsible.”
“The question for me is: where’s Spike Lee coming from?” Foxx said. “He didn’t like Whoopi Goldberg, he doesn’t like Tyler Perry, he doesn’t like anybody, I think he’s sort of run his course. I mean, I respect Spike, he’s a fantastic director. But he gets a little shady when he’s taking shots at his colleagues without looking at the work. To me, that’s irresponsible.”
In recent weeks Django Unchained has faced criticism for its use of racist language, specifically the n-word which is uttered roughly 110 times. Lee claims the film is “disrespectful to my ancestors” and has refused to see it on principle.
“American slavery,” he later tweeted, “was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
Lee also blasted Tarantino in 1997 during the release of Jackie Brown, because of the film’s use of the n-word.
“The problem with Jackie Brown,” Spike Lee reportedly said. “I will say it again and again. 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 can not use that word — I’ve used that word in many of my films — but I think something is wrong with him. You look at Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and even that thing with Christian Slater, True Romance. It’s just the n-word, the n-word, the n-word. He says he grew up on Blaxploitation films and that they were his favorite films but he has to realize that those films do not speak to the breadth of the entire African-American experience. I mean the guy’s just stupid.”
Despite the controversy surround Django Unchained, the film is now Tarantino’s highest grossing film, raking in more than $125 million at the domestic box office. It was also nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture.