Last month, Spike Lee attacked Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, tweeting that “American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a Holocaust.” It didn’t inspire much controversy, possibly because the whole Lee/Tarantino Auteurist Feud feels so 1997. Nevertheless, just a few days after Tarantino lobbed an n-bomb in the press room at the Golden Globes — the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a theater crowded with reporters who are all carrying flamethrowers — an important cultural voice has weighed in on Lee’s Django critique. In his column for the Miami New Times, former 2 Live Crew frontman takes Lee to task for his statements. (Revelation: Luther Campbell has a column!) Some key lines:

Between the haterade, Campbell does slip in some interesting bits of film analysis, noting that the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio is analogous to a contemporary white boxing promoter, using fear and intimidation to keep black athletes in line. Fans of college football know that Campbell allegedly hung out on the sidelines during University of Miami football games in the ’80s, paying players for bone-rattling hits and touchdowns.

The point is: It’s good to see that we can all have an intelligent conversation about race in America.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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Django Unchained

  • Movie
  • R
  • 165 minutes
  • Quentin Tarantino