Samuel L Jackson defends use of N-word in Quentin Tarantino films

Director's films feature more than 200 racial slurs

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 23 October 2019 11:33
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DiCaprio slams hand down in Django Unchained scene

Samuel L Jackson has defended Quentin Tarantino‘s use of racial slurs in his films.

The actor appears in a new documentary about the filmmaker, titled QT8: The First Eight, and touches on the debate over his use of the N-word in films including Django Unchained (2012) and The Hateful Eight (2017).

In comments highlighted by IndieWire, Jackson questioned why people take offence to the word being used in Tarantino’s films, but don’t argue the same point when it’s spoken by a white actor in a film that’s considered more serious in tone.

“You take 12 Years a Slave, which is supposedly made by an auteur,” Jackson said. “Steve McQueen is very different than Quentin... So it’s ok for Steve McQueen to use [the N-word] because he’s artistically attacking the system and the way people think and feel, but Quentin is just doing it to just strike the blackboard with his nails? That’s not true.

“There’s no dishonesty in anything that [Quentin] writes or how people talk, feel, or speak [in his movies].”

Jamie Foxx, who has previously defended Tarantino from backlash, revealed that – alongside Jackson – he encouraged his Django Unchained co-star Leonardo DiCaprio to say the slur in character as racist plantation owner Calvin Candie.

“Leonardo Dicaprio had a problem saying the word n****r,” Foxx commented. “He said, ‘It’s tough for me to say this.’ I remember Samuel L Jackson going, ‘Get over it motherf***er. It’s just another Tuesday motherf***er.’ I said, ‘Leo, we are not friends. This is your property, these aren’t humans. This is your property.’

“When Leo came in the next day, he didn’t speak [to me].”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood trailer

Recently, someone totted up the amount of swear words and racial slurs used in every one of Tarantino’s films to date.

The director’s most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was released earlier this year.

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