If you’re interviewing actor Samuel L. Jackson, you’d best make sure to choose your words carefully. During his press junket for Django Unchained, Jake the Movie Guy, aka Jake Hamilton, refused to say the N-word after Jackson’s insistence. It all started when the reporter commented: “There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the usage of the N-word in this movie.”
‘No?’ ‘Nobody?’ ‘None?’ The word would be … ?” said Jackson.
“I don’t like to say it,” said Hamilton.”
“Have you ever said it? Jackson asked. “We’re not going to have this conversation unless you say it. … You want to move on to another question?”
Jackson tried to get the interviewer to say it several times but Hamilton refused over and over. Although Jackson started laughing, he said seriously: “It wasn’t a great question if you can’t say the word.”
The reaction was mixed online. While some thought the reporter’s squirmy reaction was hilarious, others thought it was silly he was asking a question when he was too terrified to use the appropriate word. Still, if he did say the word would there have been a negative reaction?
The film, which is a Western epic set in the pre-Civil War South, uses the word more than 100 times. Not everyone has been willing to overlook Django Unchained‘s use of the word. Director Spike Lee boycotted the film, saying watching Quentin Tarantino’s latest would be “disrespectful to my ancestors.” The controversy might have put Jackson over the edge.
What do you think about the whole thing? Should the reporter have said the word?