Longtime friends and collaborators Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino have worked together on quite a few iconic films. Jackson has starred in Kill Bill: Volume 2, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown just to name a few, and often the filmmaker features heavy usage of the n-word. It’s a move that has placed Tarantino at the forefront of criticism, and anytime Jackson is questioned about it, he always comes to the defense of the Academy Award-winning cinematographer.
A new Tarantino documentary titled QT8: The First Eight features Jackson speaking about the controversy. The actor questioned why Tarantino often faces backlash while other filmmakers don’t. “You take 12 Years a Slave, which is supposedly made by an auteur. Steve McQueen is very different than Quentin,” Jackson reportedly said according to IndieWire. “When you have a song that says n*gger in it 300 times nobody says sh*t. So it’s ok for Steve McQueen to use [the n-word] because he’s artistically attacking the system and the way people think and feel, but Quentin is just doing it to just strike the blackboard with his nails. That’s not true. There’s no dishonesty in anything that [Quentin] writes or how people talk, feel, or speak [in his movies].”
Also in the documentary is Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx who shared that he had to reassure co-star Leonardo DiCaprio that no one would be offended if he said the n-word during filming. “Leonardo Dicaprio had a problem saying the word n*gger,” Foxx stated. “He said, ‘It’s tough for me to say this.’ I remember Samuel L. Jackson going, ‘Get over it motherf*cker. It’s just another Tuesday motherf*cker.’ I said, Leo we are not friends. This is your property, these aren’t humans. This is your property. When Leo came in the next day, he didn’t speak [to me].” Check out a a clip of Django Unchained below.