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Spike Lee, Django is “Disrespectful” to Ancestors


Unlike most of my blogger brethren, I would certainly never dismiss anything Spike Lee had to say. He is, after all, one of America’s best — and, in my opinion, one of Hollywood’s most screwed over – filmmakers.  So his objections to Django Unchained are worth noting.  In an interview, Lee said:

“All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors,” says Lee. “That’s just me…I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

He also tweeted:

@Spike Lee  American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.  It Was A Holocaust.  My Ancestors Are Slaves.  Stolen From Africa.  I Will Honor Them.

That set off a bit of a firestorm on Twitter. Naturally, sides will be taken. Some will back up Lee’s objections. Some won’t. Some won’t want anything to get in the way of the wildly entertaining movie that is Django Unchained.  But it’s worth noting, nonetheless.  Lee states over and over that it’s just his opinion. Of course, “just” is a loaded word here. Many respect Lee’s take, especially when it comes to films and, perhaps, racism in Hollywood.

Thus, the ongoing war that white people have basically won in Hollywood, despite the powerful box office demographic African Americans represent.  Spike Lee labeled “uppity” for years after Do the Right Thing.  Moreover, were he to make Django Unchained he would be crucified.  Someone went on a tirade on Facebook about how Jamie Foxx was joking on Saturday Night Live about killing white people.  So, if Spike Lee had made a movie where one of the black characters said to one of the white characters, “I like the way you die, boy,” let’s just say A) it would never get made in the first place, and B) he’d be crucified.  That’s the double standard at play.

On the other hand, does Tarantino not have a right to delve into that history? It’s white America’s history, too.  That history came roaring back with the election this year, when President’s Obama’s re-election shook a dirty blanket and a whole of bunch dirty bugs flew out and tweeted all manner of repulsive, racist things. These tweets were traced back to young people in the deep South, many of whom went to Christian school. So I think Tarantino has the right, as an artist, to explore the enduring conflict of America’s crimes of against humanity.  That’s just my opinion on it, but I respect Spike Lee’s opinion, too.

More tweets:

Some of the response tweets:

@JSim07: MAN I been waiting for you to speak on it! Never is there a point in Inglorious Bastards where Jews are the butt of the joke…

@CincinnatiGAZzy  He speaks with authority on this issue and if he doesn’t want to see the movie, I think he’s entitled to say why.

@ba_benny_boy anyone who thinks anything is ‘just’ a movie, just a news piece etc doesn’t understand the power of the media.

Randall ‏@LoveyChuhtha If @SpikeLee doesn’t like Django that’s ok. He has the right to an opinion. Don’t just agree with him though. See it for yourself.
 ‏@Elxie3 *Then Spike Lee dropped the mic and walked off stage* BOOM.
@lolaadesioye amazed that someone could say sth so ridiculous! If the goal was picking cotton etc, why not pick it yr damn self?
 ‏@SpikeLee @NordlingAICN: Plus, Sam Jackson and Jamie Foxx are frigging amazing in it.”Samuel And Jamie Are Great Actors,And What Is Your Point?
@JeleahBadu  I’m 16 and more educated about slavery and our history than this adults. They truly need to pick up and book and LEARN !

@Essimi: I’ve seen Django. The film is good but i understand your opinion. We need your free of speech.”ALL LOVE,BRO.