During the early rounds of promotion for his film “Django Unchained” director Quentin Tarantino made some controversial remarks about the mini-series “Roots.” The show, based on Alex Haley’s book, did not “ring true” in some aspects to the “Kill Bill” director.
Ironically, an airing of “Roots” on the BET network was paid for by the producers of “Django…” as a lead up to the the film’s Christmas Day release.
Levar Burton, Ben Vereen, Lesley Uggams and Louis Gossett, Jr. were on “The Wendy Williams” show to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of “Roots” and discussed, among other things, the “Django…” controversy.
“Quentin Tarantino is a very clever man, very brilliant, brilliant movie,” Louis Gossett, Jr. began diplomatically. ” [But] The N word… I’m old enough to remember the knee-jerk reactions when I hear the word and there were too many of them for me. He wanted to break out all of the myths and stuff but he was going for publicity. Now if we want to talk about the West, let’st talk about Bass Reeves…Deadwood Dick and Nat Turner. Now put those dolls out there for our children to see next to Django and maybe that will level the playing field.”
While Levar Burton toed the line saying that he enjoyed “Django” but wanted Tarantino to explain his statements, Ms. Uggams said she did not see the film and reacted strongly to Tarantino’s criticisms of “Roots.”
“We’re telling our Black story, he ain’t Black!”
Watch the full interview below:
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