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That’s one way of shutting down a tired line of questioning.
In Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, a Western epic set in the pre-Civil War South, the film’s various characters say the N-word more than 100 times, resulting in a major debate over the movie’s historical accuracy and respect of modern social standards. Not normally one to skirt any debate — especially one over language — it seems that the eventual ubiquity of the conversation finally put Samuel L. Jackson over the edge.
In an interview with Houston’s Fox TV affiliate, the actor — who plays a house slave loyal to a plantation owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio — Jackson refuses to discuss the use of the N-word until his interviewer, film critic Jake Hamilton, uses the actual word. Hamilton, a white man, refuses.
“Have you ever said it? Try it! We’re not going to have this conversation unless you try it,” Jackson said, breaking into laughter. When Hamilton asked him to say it, Jackson said, “F— no, it’s not the same thing.”
Jackson was good-spirited about the exchange, though he never did answer the question. Earlier in December, Tarantino spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the criticism over his use of the word and violence in the film.
“Not one word of social criticism that’s been leveled my way has ever changed one word of any script or any story I tell,” he said. “I believe in what I’m doing wholeheartedly and passionately. It’s my job to ignore that.”
The N-word debate starts at 13:54 in the video below.
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