A recent interview that nearly went unnoticed with Samuel L. Jackson is stirring up a bit of controversy while making the rounds on the Internets. During a press junket for the Quentin Taratino-directed Django Unchained, the veteran actor dares a white interviewer to utter the controversial “n-word” on camera.
Emmy Award-winning Houston film critic Jake Hamilton and his YouTube program Jake’s Takes sat with Taratino, headliners Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington, and closed with Jackson back in December. Towards the end of the nearly 18-minute interview segment, Jackson is prodded by Hamilton over the film’s use of the “n-word,” sparking the actor to challenge the interviewer to use the racial epithet.
“Try it! We’re not going to have this conversation unless you say it,” said a seemingly serious Jackson to a visibly uncomfortable Hamilton. Jackson continued with, “Want to move on to another question?” before breaking into laughter. Hamilton continually deflected Jackson’s invitation to say the term, and showed remarkable poise despite the tension of the moment.
A target of criticism by prominent Black entertainers such as Spike Lee and Katt Williams, Tarantino’s use of the n-word in the slave-themed film isn’t the first time the director has employed the use of the slur. In the 1994 film noir classic Pulp Fiction, a character played by Tarantino is married to an African-American woman but uses the n-word freely. Lee has been one of Tarantino’s most vocal critics of late, even calling for a boycott of the film.
To see Jackson’s segment, hop to the 13:57 mark of the video below.