ARCHERD: Spike Lee Disses 'Nigger' Usage
* By Army Archerd, Daily Variety Senior Columnist *
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - The word "nigger" is used 38 times in Quentin
Tarantino's "Jackie Brown," says
Spike Lee -- and he doesn't like it. And neither do I.
In Daily Variety's review of the picture on Dec. 16, Todd McCarthy
points out, nearly every phrase (spoken
by Samuel L. Jackson's character) contains the "n-word."
Lee admits, "I'm not against the word, (though I am) and I use it, but
not excessively. And some people
speak that way. But, Quentin is infatuated with that word. What does he
want to be made -- an honorary black
Lee says he has spoken to Miramax's Harvey Weinstein and the film's
producer, Lawrence Bender, about the
excessive use of the word. Lee would like to find out from Tarantino why
he used it so frequently in this film
"and he uses it in all his pictures: 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Reservoir
Dogs...' I want Quentin to know that all
African-Americans do not think that word is trendy or slick."
Lee admits, "I don't expect them to change (the prints now out), but I
want him (Tarantino) to know about it
for future reference."
Lee is now in post-production on his "He Got Game" for a May release by
Touchstone; Sony, where Lee has
his deal, "didn't want it," he says, so he took it to Disney. "He Got
Game" stars Denzel Washington.
He also starred in Lee's "Mo Better Blues," in which I (and others)
called Lee to task for making the
portrayals of characters Moe and Josh Flatbush Jewish caricatures: in
his review, Newsweek's David Ansen
described them as "villainous Shylocks," reminding, "Coming from a
self-proclaimed enemy of ethnic
stereotyping (Lee), this is inexcusable."
Tuesday, returning to the use of the n-word in "Jackie Brown," Lee
reminded Tarantino and his "Jackie
Brown" filmmakers, "If I had used the word 'kike' 38 times in 'Mo Better
Blues,' it would have been my last
- - By Army Archerd
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