Boy, it didn’t take long for haters of “Django Unchained” to get cranked up, did it?
If I read between the lines correctly, some people were even hating the film BEFORE it was released on Christmas Day.
Enter author, television talk show host and commentator Tavis Smiley, who admits that he hasn’t seen the film. He still hates it though.
“I refuse to see it,” Smiley said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I’m not going to pay to see it. But I’ve read the screenplay, and I have 25 family members and friends who have seen it, and have had thousands of conversations about this movie, so I can tell you frame by frame what happens.
“I’m troubled that Hollywood won’t get serious about making an authentic film about the holocaust of slavery but they will green light a spoof about slavery, and it’s as if this spoof about slavery somehow makes slavery a bit easier to swallow.”
In the words of that great American, George “Kingfish” Stevens, “well hold the phone, there, Tavis!”
Did we hear all this high-falutin’ talk from Smiley about the 1999 movie “Life”? Remember that one?
Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence were the stars. They played two clueless black men from the North that went south and ended up doing life terms in a joint that had to be based on Mississippi’s notorious, horrendous Parchman Prison Farm.
Treatment of black inmates at Parchman was so horrific, so nightmarish that it inspired a book calling the experience “Worse Than Slavery.” And what genre of movie was “Life”?
Why, a comedy, of course. Black folks went to see it in droves. And we laughed our hineys off at the comedic depiction of one of the most despicable episodes in African American history.
So Tavis, if you want to climb on that high horse about Hollywood only doing films that do a spoof of slavery, your starting point should be 14 years ago, in 1999, with “Life,” not with “Django Unchained.”
Hater number two on this list would be film director Spike Lee, who tweeted, ““American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
I didn’t know Spike was still tweeting these days, not after his experience with Twitter last year. Remember that one?
Some character decided he wanted to show how “down with the brothers” he was by tweeting the address of George Zimmerman’s parents in Florida. Spike, always eager to be down with the brothers himself, re-tweeted the address to his followers.
But it wasn’t the correct address. The elderly couple that lived there weren’t the parents of the George Zimmerman charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, but another George Zimmerman.
The elderly couple received so much harassment they had to move from their home. Spike ended up apologizing profusely.
Now he’s invoking the spirits of his ancestors – via Twitter – in dissing “Django Unchained.” A quick memo to Spike:
I’d be more inclined to take you seriously, brother, if you’d apologize to the Little family for virtually excluding them from your 1992 biopic of Malcolm X. When you do that, holla back at me.
Now we come to the final category of haters. OK, I don’t know if they’re haters, or just downright WEIRD. And notice that “weird” is in all caps.
One of the complaints about “Django Unchained” is that the “n” word is used over 100 times. The film critic for People magazine admitted that she counted 115 uses of the word, and then complained about its “gory violence.”
Earth to “Django Unchained” critics: it’s a QUENTIN TARANTINO film, people! If you went in expecting to see something along the lines of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” then YOU, not Tarantino, have the problem.
And who sits in a movie and counts how many times the “n” word – or any other word, for that matter – is used? People who have admitted doing this told me nothing about Tarantino, but they told me quite a bit about themselves.
I’ll just cut straight to the chase: THIS AIN’T NORMAL CONDUCT, PEOPLE! Please, get a life. Or, at the very least, get yourselves some much-needed therapy.