There’s one thing Spike Lee definitely won’t be doing during the Holidays this year — eating popcorn while indulging in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained film, which opens in theaters on Christmas day.
The Do the Right Thing director says he’s boycotting the new movie because he believes it’s the wrong thing for his ancestors.
“American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them,” tweet Lee on Twitter.
His scathing tweet comes after Lee recently told VibeTV that he couldn’t comment on the slavery film because he decided not to see it. “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m gonna say,” he explained. “I can’t disrespect my ancestors. I can’t do it. Now, that’s me. I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself. I can’t do it.”, said the helmer in the video interview.”
The strong opinions didn’t just stop there. The 55-year-old director even mixed it up with another Twitter user who took offense to Lee’s Holocaust comparison.
“The goal of the holocaust was death and destruction; the goal of American slavery was tobacco, indigo, rice, and cotton,” responded a user called Rogue Academic.
Lee followed Rogue Academic’s response with, “Like Slaves Didn’t Die? What Kind Of Academic Are You? And George Washington Didn’t Own Slaves Too?”
This is not the first time Spike Lee has openly expressed his disdain for Tarantino’s work. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Atlanta born helmer criticized Tarentino for his “excessive use of the n-word” in the 1997 blaxploitation throwback movie Jackie Brown — which Django Unchained star, Samuel Jackson, also had a part in.
“Let the record state that I never said that he cannot use that word,” Lee said. “I’ve used that word in many of my films, but I think something is wrong with him.”
“I’m not against the word. And some people speak that way. But Quentin is infatuated with that word,” Lee said of the Pulp Fiction director in an interview with Variety.
Django Unchained depicts Jamie Foxx as a former slave-turned-bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife, played by Kerry Washington, from a brutal plantation owner. The film also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz.
Spike Lee was not the lone voice that has spoken up against the movie. The five time Golden Globe nominated film has come under criticism for using the “n-word” over 100 times. However, Tarentino defended himself in an MTV interview saying:
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous …No one can actually say with a straight face that we use the word more than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi. So since they can’t say that, what they’re basically saying is I should lie. I should pretty it up. I should lie, and I don’t lie when it comes to my characters and the stories I tell.”