Oh boy. Despite taking home the trophy for best screenplay last night at the Golden Globes, Quentin Tarantino landed himself in some hot water at the press conference while trying to explain his use of “the n-word” in his movie Django Unchained. Ironically enough, people were not shocked by his explanation so much as the language he used while giving his explanation. Said he:
“If somebody is out there actually saying when it comes to the word n****r, the fact that I was using it in the movie more than it was being used in the antebellum south in Mississippi, then feel free to make that case. But no one’s actually making that case. They are saying I should lie, that I should whitewash, that I should massage, and I never do that when it comes to my characters.”
Generally, I see this as a rather clear cut issue: white people are not allowed to say this word, because when a lot of white people say this word, it’s generally an indicator that someone is being oppressed. The history behind it is intensely awful. But it’s hard to get mad at Tarantino when he said it as part of such a good explanation for why he put it in the movie. And when he articulates the ways slavery still exists like this:
“If you go to Malaysia, there’s sexual slavery going on in places like that, but I’m more concerned about the slavery that is going on in America. The drug laws that have put so many black males in jail that wouldn’t have existed in the `70s, that is slavery. It is just straight up slavery as far as I’m concerned.”
Who the hell else would speak such harsh but important truths at this masturbatory industry clusterfuck? I think the truly offensive thing is that this shit is still going on, and that some people would like to deny that it is. Even with points off for failing the question “can white people say the n-word y/n,” he still gets higher marks in political consciousness and racism 101 than most of those in attendance.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)