Tarantino Defends Use of N-Word in Django, Calls Criticism Ridiculous

by on December 30, 2012

Director Quentin Tarantino has come under fire by prominent Black filmmakers, such as Spike Lee, who called the film Django Unchained disrespectful to my ancestors“. In an interview, Tarantino spoke to Black Harvard Professor and thought leader Henry Louis Gates Jr.  He told Gates that the use of  the N-word was unavoidable when creating a realistic period film set during slavery.

Tarantino argues that he did not use the word in the film more excessively than it was actually used at that time. He did not want to water things down and make it easier to watch for viewers. Is this truly a disgrace to Black slaves?

Here are Tarantino’s exact words according to Ace Showbiz:

“Well, you know, if you’re going to make a movie about slavery and are taking a 21st-century viewer and putting them in that time period, you’re going to hear some things that are going to be ugly, and you’re going to see some things that are going to be ugly,”

“That’s just part and parcel of dealing truthfully with this story, with this environment, with this land,” Tarantino continued. “Personally, I find [the criticism] ridiculous. Because it would be one thing if people are out there saying, ‘You use it much more excessively in this movie than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi’.”

“Well, nobody’s saying that. And if you’re not saying that, you’re simply saying I should be lying. I should be watering it down. I should be making it more easy to digest. No, I don’t want it to be easy to digest. I want it to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.”

Who do you side with, Spike Lee or Quentin Tarantino?

Subscribe To Blallywood and Win Free Stuff!

Enter your e-mail address to stay current on Black film and television news. Like our Facebook page too, and we'll enter your name to win our monthly giveaways like DVDs, Box Sets, and Movie Tickets! No annoying e-mails. Its a no brainer.

We need your last name in case your name is drawn for the contest.

  • M.S.


  • Tim Lee Melton Jr.

    Tarantino. He used the word in its proper context and kept everything respectful performance-wise. I would be more confused if he did water-down the events in the movie.

    • http://www.blallywood.com/author/anya87/ Anya Rahming

      Yeah, although overall Django was really watered down making plantations life look like working at a theme park – for the women at least. I’m interested to see how 12 Years As A Slave does with word usage in comparison.