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Spike Lee on “Django Unchained”: ‘…It’s Disrespectful to My Ancestors’

Famed film director Spike Lee referred to "Django Unchained" as being disrespectful to his ancestors.

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Spike Lee is one of the public figures who you’ll either really love or really dislike. His candor can take some getting used to. Jamie Foxx may fall under the “I really dislike Spike Lee” category after the director’s recent interview with VibeTV.  The comments were in response to the new film, “Django Unchained,” and Spike makes it clear that he just doesn’t like it.

“Django Unchained” is a film directed by Quentin Tarantino that is about a slave-turned-bounty hunter who, with the help of his mentor, sets out to rescue his wife from a b****l Mississippi plantation owner. Actor/singer/songwriter Jamie Foxx stars in the film as the main character, Django.

When asked how he feels about the film, famed film director Spike Lee replied: “I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me… I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.” His response comes weeks after Jamie Foxx revealed that when he discussed the film with Spike Lee, the owner of 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks film production company, told the actor: “I’m not going to say anything bad about this film. It looks like y’all are getting it.”  Technically speaking, he really didn’t say anything bad about the film when asked about it on VibeTV, so it appears as if Spike Lee is a man of his word amongst other things.

Jamie Foxx is one of six African Americans to participate in a new PSA in response to the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Your Black World writer, Maria Lloyd, was disappointed in the celebrities’ involvement in the PSA asking for stricter gun laws after a mass majority of wealthy Caucasian children were killed in the shooting, but failing to speak up against the surge in gun violence amongst children in urban communities that occurs on a daily basis and have killed hundreds of children in 2012 alone. She wrote:

Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Chris Rock, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul jumped on a new PSA for an organization named Demand a Plan for Gun Violence in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The short PSAopens with the celebrities naming the mass shootings that have occurred throughout the nation and asking “How many more?”

It’s incredibly sad that these African American celebrities didn’t ask that same question during Father Michael Pfleger’s 2011 vigil remembering the lives of 260 children who have died to gun violence in Chicago over the past three years. In fact, the day of the tragic mass shooting in Newtown,Chicago saw 10 deaths on Friday and Saturday alone. –Source

109 Responses to Spike Lee on “Django Unchained”: ‘…It’s Disrespectful to My Ancestors’

  1. sawitcoming Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I would be interested to know what Lee’s criticism of the film is? And yes, where are our black heroes on film? The short answer is white folks own Hollywood and its hard to get big budget films of historic scope done without the green light from the white man. That’s the simple answer. Audience is another. Just blacks going to see a movie won’t give the ROI studio heads want and white folks are not trying to see a movie about Nat Turner or Harriet Tubman unless it’s being told from the perspective of a white character.

  2. miseagle1013 Reply

    December 25, 2012 at 2:39 am

    It’s ashame that for a man who has made mostly low b**t films that never hardly reached the charts always seems to put his own input on what he thinks about someone else movies. I am beginning to think that Spike Lee really thinks he’s the author and proof reader of black people.

  3. Ralph Reply

    December 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Spike Lee Disgraced our Ancestors with that garbage “RED HOOK SUMMER”!

  4. Teri Reply

    December 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    It should tell you something that even a fictional movie that deals with revenge for the crimes of slavery causes so much controversy. Put another way the justice called for for slavery, jim crow and mass incarceration has yet to be realized. That is the source of a great deal of problems for a society which sees themselves as anything but the bad guy. The denial is massive. With the exception of Sankofa I’m not sure who has even tried to address this historical and present day imperative. Lee tried to tackle Malcolm…he made a good effort but fell short imo when trying to show Malcolm in his fully developed revolutionary state. Spielberg tackled La Amistad and at least in the scenes depicting that voyage and the revolt he was gettin at some of what our people faced. This is a subject that screams to be addressed. Where are our Black heroes…from Nat Turner and Harriet Tubman to the fictional Django? Why aren’t Lee and other Black film makers telling these stories more?

  5. Corky Johnson Reply

    December 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Good morning: I agree with Spike Lee: Since the election of our first President, the media and the movie industry with been prositituting the images of Black Americans,and we Black folks still standup on the behalf of the perpetrators, is truly unbelievable. When will the time come, when we start to stand up for our selves, for the protection and truth of our causes. Not always standing up and protecting the views and actions of the (systems) and accepting their vices toward us.
    Thats why I wrote my book: WHY ARE AFRO AMERICANS AFRAID TO TAKE OFF THE BLINDERS on
    http://www.createspace.com/3979333. I believe that this is a must read for all Afro Americans. We must stop accepting the bullshit and stand together.
    We must remember: We are one, our cause are one, and together we must help each other if we are going to succeed.

  6. bob Reply

    December 24, 2012 at 1:44 am

    “Disrespectful to my anscestors”….uhh..no kidding. And that’s why I’m not going to see it. I won’t dare chance seeing that movie cause me to change my mind.

    Next: Jamie Foxx and other Black celebs should not have participated in the Newtown Ct PSA because they haven’t stopped Black children from dying by gun violence.

    Hello? The real disgrace to our anscestors is that too many of us are still in denial about the real presence of real White racism in our midst today. Vigils, marches, legislation, prayer and funerals forever and not much meaningful anything has happened to stop the slaughter of Black children.

    Grow up and get real people. This PSA, because little White children died, will be meaningful for Black children because little White children died. Doesn’t mean anything more than White racism is real. J. Foxx and his fellow Black celebs might have done more for Black victims of gun violence than all the previous efforts combined….because a white man killed little White children with his mother’s super bad assault rifle.

  7. Satchel Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Spike thinks the Django movie is disrespectful to our ancestors so what, he has that right. Maria Lloyd complains about black celebrities not supporting Father Pfleger’s 2011 vigil, and speaking out about the Sandy Hook tragedy. I say if Sandy Hook brings any action on gun violence, that’s a good thing because the ends justifies the means.

  8. Barbara Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Spike Lee is sort of the “Canary in the Coal Mine” when it comes to the types of movies being made about Black Americans: Cartoon type movie about slavery. Blackface movie about one of our Civil Rights icons.

    When the late Ms. Tucker tried to raise awareness about the vile words in Rap music, she was shut down too.

    It takes years for some of us to “get it.”

    Thanks Spike.

  9. rosemary davis Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I have not seen this movie yet but Spike Lee seems too have a problem with any black man that does something a tad bit better than him.First it was Tyler Perry now it’s Jamie Foxx I think this all adds up to jealousy Spike has too remember these things did happen to blacks in the South in the 17th and 18th century so if he is embarrassed then it should be for it even happening in the first place not because it was brought too life on a movie screen.Spike needs to find something better to do with himself than to sit around being critical of his own kind this is one reason many blacks are not reconize for their acting abilities because it is people like Spike Lee that lead the effort in holding such ones back SMH

  10. Hulldogg Maxx Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I LIKE SPIKE BUT “I DON’T WANNA BE LIKE SPIKE”. WHAT SPIKE DON’T DIRECT SPIKE DON’T WANNA GO SEE ? I LIKE IT. WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL DJANGO A 1998 MOVIE A WESTERN ABOUT A BUNCH OF RENEGADE EX-SOUTHERN RENEGADE CONFEDERATES?

  11. bernina200 Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    there were some good parts, to Lincoln, but could have improved, in many area. Spike Lee, has a right not to like or respond to questions about the movie, but I haveseen several of Spike Lee movie, that I did not care for. It is called Free Speech.

  12. bernina200 Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    my comment , it took a mass shooting of white children,to bring any attention to all the gun voilent, when black children are afraid each and every day to go school for fear of being killed. I am in favor of gun restriction, such as the multi- firing weapons, however the bad guys will always think of a way to get them. But if, there are stricter laws, it does help. The NRA, is not as powerful, and the whimpy Congress, think they are, they are (Congress) just grudy, for power and money.

  13. bernina200 Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    my comment , it took a mass shooting of white children,to bring any attention to all the gun voilent, when black children are afraid each and every day to go school for fear of being killed. I am in favor of gun restriction, such as the multi- firing weapons, however the bad guys will always think of a way to get them. But if, there are stricter laws, it does help. The NRA, is not as powerful, and the whimpy Congress, think they are, they are (Congress) just grudy, for power and money.

  14. AMAZINGGRACE Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    If you didn’t see it, yet you say you don’t like it because it disrespects your ancestors, then the motion picture Lincoln disrespects your ancestors as well. Both are out at the same time, and both are about our Ancestors, African Americans as slaves. I haven’t seen either, yet I will reserve my critique until viewed, and no sooner.

  15. Dannyboy Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Is Spike Lee just JEALOUS that he didn’t make this movie which shows so much of what slavery was really about? He needs to keep his seat at Knicks’ games and shut up!! He has developed an elitetist attitude as if he is the only film producer/director who should make movies that deal with race.

    GET A LIFE, SPIKE!!

  16. PARADOXIC SINGULARTY Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I laav Spike…but Dayum he didn’t even see tha Movie*

    “I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me… I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

    How can he judge it disrespectful … jez cuz Tarantino did it???

  17. PARADOXIC SINGULARTY Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I laav Spike…but Dayum he didn’t even see tha Movie*

    “I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me… I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

    How can he judge it disrespectful … jez cuz Tarantino did it???

  18. PARADOXIC SINGULARTY Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I laav Spike…but Dayum he didn’t even see tha Movie*

    “I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it… All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me… I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

    How can he judge it disrespectful … jez cuz Tarantino did it???

  19. corbin56 Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    No one really gives a rat’s behind about what Spike Lee thinks.

  20. corbin56 Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    No one really gives a rat’s behind about what Spike Lee thinks.

  21. bill Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

    What did Spike Lee say that was wrong?

  22. Shenetta Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

    How ridiculous to complain that celebrities do not go to urban areas. Why? So they can be s**t too?
    You cannot compare what happened at Sandy Hook to those areas. A crazy man chose to enter and blow kids and adults away. This is not something that occurs in their community every day and was not particularly preventable. In the urban areas, this is an everyday occurrence. SO…WHERE ARE THE BLACK MEN IN THAT COMMUNITY WHO ARE WILLING TO STAND UP TO THE THUGS AND SAY NO MORE? WHEN THE COPS DO SHOW UP, WE YELL POLICE BRUTALITY AND TALK ABOUT HOW NICE THE THUG WAS. We do not need politicians or celebrities. We just need grown azz men to stand up to these punks but the will not. So until then, STOP COMPLAINING.!!!

    • L. A. Reply

      December 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

      You said a mouthful! Too much truth! We do not stand up for our community yet get mad when others don’t. As soon as help is offered, we start yelling about snitching, like it’s a grade school playground! It is shameful!

    • L. A. Reply

      December 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

      You said a mouthful! Too much truth! We do not stand up for our community yet get mad when others don’t. As soon as help is offered, we start yelling about snitching, like it’s a grade school playground! It is shameful!

    • Terri Reply

      December 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Preach, my sista.

  23. Marie Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    We spend too much time talking, reading and arguing about others comments. In the USA, we have freedom of speech, which is great. My views, values and life decisions aren’t based on what celebrities say or don’t say. In 2013, let’s spend more time and energy doing the work to make changes for our communities. If you feel disrespected and don’t want to suppport certain projects, movies or songs, you have that right.

    Forward 2013

  24. Marie Reply

    December 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    We spend too much time talking, reading and arguing about others comments. In the USA, we have freedom of speech, which is great. My views, values and life decisions aren’t based on what celebrities say or don’t say. In 2013, let’s spend more time and energy doing the work to make changes for our communities. If you feel disrespected and don’t want to suppport certain projects, movies or songs, you have that right.

    Foward 2013

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