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.”