The debate surrounding filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained continued as the film opened Tuesday, with Tarantino’s fellow director, Spike Lee, telling Vibe Magazine he outright refused to watch Tarantino’s film, which has been criticized both for romanticizing slavery and for promoting violence against white people.
“I’m not gonna see it,” Lee told the pop-culture, magazine, which primarily covers African-American artists of note. “I’m not seeing it. All I’m gonna say is, it’d be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s all I’m gonna say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors.”
According to E! Online, Lee expanded on his criticism on Twitter, writing, “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
The film stars Jamie Foxx as the titular Django, who is enlisted by a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to go after the vicious plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) who owns Django’s wife. As Slate reported, the movie has been targeted by conservative media outlets, with the Washington Times claiming, that it “boils down to one central theme: the white man as devil.”
At the same time, however, critics like The Atlantic’s Ari Melber have accused Tarantino of “luxuriating” in slavery in the story, in which the word “nigger” is reportedly used 110 times, according to a panel discussion on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry news show on Dec. 22.
Watch Lee’s interview with Vibe, originally posted Dec. 21, below.
And watch the MSNBC panel discussion on the film below.