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Spike Lee Calls 'Django Unchained' 'Disrespectful'

'Slavery was not a Sergio Leone spaghetti western'

Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino in 'Django Unchained.'
Taylor Hill/Getty Images; ANDREW COOPER
December 27, 2012 10:15 AM ET

Although he hasn't seen the movie, director Spike Lee tells Vibe that Quentin Tarantino's new Civil War-era Western Django Unchained is "disrespectful to my ancestors." 

Lee, whose latest film Red Hook Summer deals with race and class in the South Brooklyn neighborhood, said he has no plans to see Django Unchained. He elaborated on his dissatisfaction on Twitter, writing, "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." 

The Best Movies of 2012: 'Django Unchained'

This isn't the first time Lee has taken issue with Tarantino's films, particularly when it comes to the use of a racial epithet that is used myriad times in Django and appeared frequently in Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown

Lee spoke out about the film after apparently telling Django star Jamie Foxx that he wasn't going to. In a separate interview with Vibe, Foxx recalled an encounter with Lee at the BET awards saying, "You know Spike, he'll let you have it whether it's good, bad or ugly. And he said, 'I'm not going to say anything bad about this film. It looks like y'all are getting it.'"

Also weighing in on Django's use of the term is Sarah Silverman who told TMZ, "Doesn't it take place like during slavery? Wouldn't it be odd if they didn't have that horrific word in it?" The comic added that Lee has "got a lot of mishegas with a lot of art. I think you can't really tell art what to do."

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“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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