No one knows how to make white men squirm quite like Samuel L. Jackson.
A post on Reddit last night has unearthed a prime example. Two weeks ago, the Django Unchained cast sat down with Jake Hamilton, host of Houston’s Emmy-winning film show Jake’s Takes, at a press junket. Things went smoothly enough until Hamilton approached Jackson with a question about the movie’s controversial use of the “n-word.” Jackson insisted that Hamilton, who is white, say the word out loud; after Hamilton repeatedly refused, they moved on. It was uncomfortable.
“The most awkward moment was just seeing everyone in the room freeze, and waiting to see what my reaction was going to be,” Hamilton says today.
The internet reaction has been mixed. Many commenters claim that Hamilton should have simply said the word, while others applaud the reporter for not caving to Jackson’s demand. Hamilton says that his decision was in the best interest of the show and the network.
“Whatever the video’s doing today, making the rounds, it’s not as bad as it would be if I had actually said it,” he says. “The last thing that my affiliate needs is one of their reporters going around saying the n-word and broadcasting it everywhere.”
While it’d be easy to harbor some resentment for the provocation, Hamilton says that ultimately there’s no hard feelings between him and Jackson. “He doesn’t suffer any fools, and he’s the kind of guy I feel like I have to step up my game as a reporter,” he says. “I look forward to interviewing him again.”
Watch the video below — Jackson’s segment starts at 13:55: