Quentin Tarantino says Kanye West approached him about ‘very funny’ slave-themed music video

Director denied West’s claim that he ‘stole’ the idea for his film ‘Django Unchained’ from the rapper, but says they discussed a slave-themed video for his song ‘Gold Digger’

Annabel Nugent
Friday 28 October 2022 07:56 BST
Django Unchained - Trailer

Quentin Tarantino has addressed Kanye West’s claims that he stole the idea for Django Unchained from him.

The director – who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the 2012 film – appeared as a guest on Thursday’s episode (27 October) of Jimmy Kimmel Live, during which he directly spoke about West’s allegations.

The rapper recently said that he originally pitched the story to Tarantino and Jamie Foxx, who stars in the film, in the hopes that it would be the music video for his 2005 hit song “Gold Digger”.

West said that he had pitched a slavery-themed story for the video, which never came to fruition.

Django Unchained was released in 2012 and starred Foxx in the titular role, as a slave who is freed and joins forces with a bounty hunter to rescue his wife from a plantation owner.

Asked whether there was any truth in West’s claims, Tarantino told Kimmel: “Well there’s not truth that Kanye West came up with the idea of Django and then he told it to me and I go, ‘Hey wow, that’s a really great idea. Let me take Kanye’s idea and make Django Unchained out of it.’ That didn’t happen.”

Tarantino continued: “I had the idea for Django for a while before I ever met Kanye.”

The Inglourious Basterds director, however, went on to say that West did approach him with an idea for a music video in which he would play a slave.

“He wanted to do a giant movie version of College Dropout,” he said, speaking about the rapper’s 2004 album.

“He wanted to get big directors to do different tracks from the album and then release it as this giant movie.”

Tarantino continued: “Me and Kanye used it as an excuse to meet each other, so we met each other and had a really good time and he did have an idea for a video and I do think it was for the ‘Gold Digger’ video that he would be a slave and the whole thing was this slave narrative where he was a slave and he’s singing ‘Gold Digger’ and it was very funny. It was a really, really funny idea.”

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Jamie Foxx in ‘Django Unchained' (Columbia/The Weinstein Company/Kobal/Shutterstock)

“It was a funny slave video?” Kimmel asked, to which Tarantino responded: “Yeah, well it was meant to be ironic.

“And it’s like a huge musical, like no expenses spared within this slave rag outfit doing everything. And then that was also part of the pushback on it. I wish he had done it. It sounded really cool. Anyway, that’s what he’s referring to when he says he spoke to me.”

West has recently found himself embroiled in controversy over a number of antisemetic remarks he has made.

The rapper, who has been involved in various controversies over the years, has been dropped by both Adidas and Balenciaga over the “hateful and dangerous” comments. A number of fellow celebrities have also condemned his behaviour.

You can find a comprehensive timeline of his remarks, criticism and repercussions here.

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