dick gregory spike lee

Filmmaker Spike Lee made national headlines when he decided to publicly boycott fellow director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchained. Lee called the slavery revenge flick disrespectful to his ancestors and said he refused to watch it.

However, Lee’s comments are clearly not the view of all Black America as civil rights activist Dick Gregory has spoken out in favor of the film. Gregory, who wrote the 1964 autobiography “Nigger,” said some of Lee’s work has been more disrespectful to his ancestors than Django Unchained.

“That lil thug ain’t even seen the movie, he’s acting like he’s white…so it must be something personal, because when I looked at all those black entertainers, that know Spike Lee, how are you going to attack this man and don’t be attacking them,” Gregory said in an interview with YouTube channel, W.E. A.L.L. B.E. T.V.

“You’re saying, ‘everybody’s a fool but me?’ [Talking about] ‘it offended my ancestors,’ but when you did ‘She’s Got To Have It’ and some of those other thug movies you did… when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?”

Gregory went on to say that it’s all a game and he’s glad Lee’s comments didn’t affect the movie’s success. “Whatever he’s mad about, it’s something that happened way, way a long time ago,” he said. “Thank God it didn’t work, that movie has made up close to $400 million.’

What do you think of Dick Gregory’s comments? Do you agree with his point of view or do you support Spike Lee?

  • AM

    LAWD!!!!!!! *Dead, buried and soul in heaven*!! I don’t even know what to say other than, GOTDARN!

  • bluefacedangel

    Dick Gregory is 80 damn years old. He’s earned the right to say whatever he wants to. And yes, Spike should have seen the movie first. And yes, I considered “Girl 6″ and “She Hate Me” to be “disrespectful to our ancestors”. Django Unchained was a very well made and entertaining western. Slavery is not just black’s history, but America’s history. Tarantino has a right to tell his version of it. No, it was not very historically accurate, but that’s what documentaries and libraries are for. It was like a modern day “Blazing Saddles” homage.

  • gmarie

    lol I’m sorry but Spike IS a bully. Thug might be a strong word but he is definitely an industry bully. He takes issue with any director/producer who isn’t him making movies starring black actors, and tries to shame their work or find flaw in it. He acts as he owns the rights to black imagery on the silver screen. As I always say if you don’t like what you’re seeing on tv/film right now create something better. He had his opportunity with “Red Hook Summer” and failed miserably. While I can understand his beef with Django, his issues on a whole run much deeper.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    it’s the house negroes v the field negroes…with the white man getting rich off of it

  • victoria

    What’s with all of the name calling???

    Like some of the commentors on this site, his message was drowned out once he belittled Spike Lee.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Dick’s comments were uncalled for Spike may have been wrong for judging a movie he has not seen because of his differences between him and Tarantino bit he like everyone else is entitled to his own opinion with out the name calling. I swear this movie has people acting like high-school girls. “Oh I can’t stand him don’t talk to him either or I will hate you too”. But when you see each other no one says a word. Really that’s how grown men act now? Yeah white people definitely came out on top on this and they weren’t even trying.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    gregory wrote a book which was titled ‘nigger’

  • Treece

    I just listened to the entire interview and he made my point exactly. I really liked Django Unchained and that’s why. Because the star of the film was not “slavery”. It was a love story (partially) that took place during slavery. It’s a story about a man who became a bounty hunter after being freed from slavery. The word nigger is used because that’s history. That is what we were referred to at the time (among other things). I like Spike Lee so I’m not going to bad mouth him. I’ll just repeat: there are a whole lot of other.movies and tv shows he could protest and be angry about other than this one that are more of a disgrace to ones ancestors. Thank you Mr. Gregory for laying it plain.

    Oh, I forgot to mention Lincoln. Mr. Gregory also mentioned that. The word was used in that film and there are no comments from the peanut gallery….hmmmm. We have been brainwashed to believe that this man loved and respected the poor slave so much that he demanded our freedom. He freed the slaves for political agenda only. It was all about “preserving the Union”. Didn’t have anything to do with his wanting to be fair or just. But its okay for that film…

  • Yb

    Black people sure go out on a limb to defend white people. Pathetic.

  • dirtychai

    I’m almost positive that the Dick Gregory of 1963 would have a differing opinion.

  • Anthony

    Dick Gregory did not use language I would use, but he reflects some of my criticisms of Spike Lee. Lee comes off as someone who thinks he has more sense than everyone else, and can speak for all black people sometimes, furthermore, Spike Lee has made some exploitative films about us himself. That said, Malcolm X was a young crook during the age of the zoot suit, showing X in a zoot suit is just acknowledging history. I also feel that he does have some personal issues with Tarantino too.

  • Cocochanel31

    I have the upmost respect for Dick but he lost me here…
    She’s Got To Have It’ and some of those other thug movies you did… when you took Malcolm X and put a Zoot suit on him, red hat…did that offend your ancestors, punk?”

    HUH???? Didn’t Malcolm really wear zoot suits as told in his Autobiography? I’m so lost as to why Dick had to go down to this level as if he personally owes Tarantino something for making this movie. This is crazy!!

  • Peyton

    I always enjoy listening to Dick Gregory’s perspective. This commentary did catch me off guard with the name calling of Spike Lee. Now, I’m sort of curious of what John Singleton’s perspective is concerning Django and Spike’s comments. I guess more comments will surface after the Oscars.

  • deebsooreal

    Just asking did you even listen to what he was saying? or did you pull a “Spike Lee”? Dick Gregory just broke down every historical fact that served as the basis for the movie. So how on earth is this going out on a limb to defend white people? Please elaborate on your statement.

  • M.M.S.

    Are you serious? Geesh. Can we all give it a rest.

    The movie is fictional. It was never suppose to be an adaptation of what happened with slavery. I liked the movie. I wasn’t offended. I truly believe at the core, what Mr. Gregory is saying is true about Spike Lee. He’s bitter. He attacks ONLY Quentin Tarantino, yet he’s made some films that are questionable and he’s yet to speak ill about other black movie makers and entertainers who do far worst than this “white man” as you keep pointing out.

    He’s not defending, he’s saying Spike is being a jack-a** and I agree. Sadly, black people don’t own the N word and it was used during slavery. This was the first time that I thought Quentin used it appropriately in terms of the historical era the movie was in. Why hide that? Although this film is fictional it still has stay true to era it’s suppose to depict.

    Spike’s never seen the film so (to me and many others) he’s just plain bitter. Something bad happened between Mr. Lee and Mr. Tarantino and they need to both work that out, but to just say the things he has without seeing it is wrong. Had he said he saw the movie I’d think differently, because we’re all entitled to our opinion, but Spike needs to offer an informed one, considering Quentin is his colleague.

  • http://www.weallbe.blogpspot.com ct

    Just an fyi…when Bro Gregory was speaking about the movie, his goal was not to put Bro. Lee in a negative spotlight. Please take the time to read and listen to the whole 15 minutes of the discussion, but rather to say that we as African American should not be so hurt when we use something that is part of our history. Everyone should know the true story of what happen, be it a white or black person telling the story. Let each person judge the movie for themselves and if they agree with either one or have their opinion, they have a right to it. His personal point was that the picture did not cover up what happen or take away the love of a man and women who happen to be African American.

    Just an fyi: Many people do not know that the character Django is based on a non-fictional character name: Dangerfield Newby. He was part of the John Brown Black Raiders. He joined the group because he was free and wanted his wife who was a slave to be free. Below is a letter from his wife found on Newby after his death:
    Dear Husband: I want you to buy me as soon as possible, for if you do not get me somebody else will. The servants are very disagreeable; they do all they can to set my mistress against me. Dear Husband,. . . the last two years have been like a troubled dream to me. It is said Master is in want of money. If so, I know not what time he may sell me, and then all my bright hopes of the future are blasted, for there has been one bright hope to cheer me in all my troubles, that is to be with you, for if I thought I should never see you, this earth would have no charms fo me. Do all you can for me, which I have no doubt you will. I want to see you so much.

  • http://halloftheblackdragon.com Greg Dragon

    Name calling and you all give this man a thumbs up? Stay classy Clutch.

    I agree with most of what Dick Gregory says but that is my opinion; we haven’t been field and house negros in well over 300 years. Slave mentality persists and it’s a sad state of affairs.

  • http://halloftheblackdragon.com Greg Dragon

    But here you post on this site tearing down black men. Get a mirror before you make this into blacks selling out.

  • cosmicsistren

    Dick Gregory can call Spike Lee whatever he wants. I could care less what Spike Lee likes or dislike. Maybe he should have channeled some of that energy of criticising Tarantino’s film and make a good film. Did anyone see Red Hook Summer last year? When was the last time any of his films were successful at the box office? How can you criticize a film you have not seen? He needs to have a seat.

  • kc

    I don’t know what to make of Dick Gregory’s comments, but I will say that I did see Red Hook Summer! It was uneven, to be honest.

  • M.M.S.

    Are you talking to me? @ Greg Drago, because no where in my response am I “tearing down black men”. I stayed on topic and talked about Spike.

    I don’t see any person doing that in this topic. Everyone seems to be discussing whether or not they agree with Dick Gregory’s comments about Spike Lee.

  • kc

    I agree. Crooklyn and Do the Right Thing are classics, but Spike has made some questionable decisions since then. I think he is having a hard time interpreting black modernity. In his late ’80s heyday, he could easily make these comments and many blacks would agree. I think our understanding of race now is a bit more complicated. Red Hook Summer was his chance to deal with some more modern themes–gentrification, sexual orientation, etc.–and he just missed the mark.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    He is full of as much BS as the rest of them.

  • Cocochanel31

    wHAT DOES UNEVEN MEAN? I saw Red Hook and loved it .

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Calling some one a thug and a punk is a put down.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    And another thing people need to rent more movies from the 50s on up and stop acting like a black revenge flick is something new neither is a black western new. And Django is NOT a love story.

  • Yb

    “The movie is fictional”
    “I liked the movie. I wasn’t offended”

    ^^^^^Exhibit A.

  • http://halloftheblackdragon.com Greg Dragon

    @M.M.S. I liked your reply and gave it a thumbs up – my reply was meant for the person it’s linked to. Maybe this site appears differently on a phone but you’re good.

  • D.T.

    He needs to sit his OLD behind down somewhere.

    A lot of these older (55 plus) black people annoy the heck out of me. They are some of the most Uncle Tom, boot licking people I’ve ever met. Why would he disrespect Spike Lee like that? For a white man? You gotta be kidding me. He is trained quite well I must say.

    Older blacks are one of the greatest disappointments to me. I’ll never say it out loud though.

    Eighty years old and still begging for a pat on the head by Massa……crying shame.

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    The whole kerfuffle about the “n-word” use in Django reminded me that recently re-watched some episodes of Roots when BET was having their marathon (first time in years I’ve watched BET) and the word was used fairly often in that series as well, by black people and white people, because it was period-appropriate. I think a lot of the criticism Django is getting has to do with the director. Tarantino is a controversial figure who makes controversial films. Thing is he’s used to backlash and harsh criticism, so all of this hullabaloo is probably just like water off a duck’s back for him.

    (I haven’t seen Django yet, but I intend to, so that I can evaluate it for myself.)

  • George Williams

    How can anyone support a movie that use the B-Word 110 Times-the same director made movies(pulp fiction$Jackie brown the used the N-Word excessively)-Tarantino hasn’t made movies about the Jewish holocaust and use the H-Word 110 Times-tarantino is part italian and he hasn’t made a movie
    Using the D-Word 110Times-why is he making movies that use the N-Word-something is wrong tarantino- I disagree w/Mr Gregory!!!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    You cant have a love story were a couple are not on the screen with each other for more than 30 mins and when they are love is not their focus. It is a revenge flick, stop being thirsty.

  • Natalie

    M.M.S. I feel like Greg is referring to the main commenter, not you.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “we haven’t been field and house negros in well over 300 years”

    and stockholm syndrome does not exist, right?
    you are living in a very different universe from the one i live in. god bless.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    who do you think ran the civil rights movement?

  • http://halloftheblackdragon.com Greg Dragon

    Bro my universe is called progress and forward-thinking. I was once where you were and I hope that one day you can evolve.

  • D.T.

    And what did they do after that?

  • Rue

    And this good people is why black people are a loooooong way from the promised land. SMH

  • Rue

    “Slavery is not just black’s history, but America’s history. Tarantino has a right to tell his version of it. ”

    So do the people who continue to insist that slavery civilized black people, yet somehow we seem to be up in arms when they print that in textbooks. i wonder why…..

  • Rue

    Take a bow cuz I’m giving you a standing ovation!!!

  • Yb

    Come with proof and references. If not save your petty accusations and debate what I wrote if you disagree with it.

  • B

    I am going temper my comments because it’s Dick Gregory.

    1. If one has lived a long life and the most freeing thing you have experienced as a black person comes from a white man’s imagination something ain’t right.

    2. In Malcol’s biography Chapter Three Homeboy he talks about buying a zoot suit and conking his hair so I am puzzled by that comment.

    3. Quentin not only attacked Roots, but also attacked the black actors performances in Rots. How can one scold Spike, but not Quentin?

    4. I would sooner cut my tongue out before I defend a white man
    over a black man for something like this. A damn movie that I am not getting paid for.

    At the end of the day, this is a white man’s movie ( no matter who worked on it) and the money is going into white pockets. Spike can criticize Tyler, no comment from Dick Gregory ….but to say something about Quentin he’s a punk and a thug? I will take economic liberation over paying whitey to fantasize about killing whitey any day.

    5. I simply don’t understand some black folks need to defend able bodied white folks.

    6. Do people have hearing problems? Spike said “I am speaking for myself” how is that speaking for ALL black people? It’s not.

    I feel this is unbecoming of an elder of his background.
    Punk & thug? I don’t even like Spike’s personality, but to act like this over a white man’s movie is strange to me.. ust weird. Paul Mooney is right, he said Quientin is like Dracula….. He puts some black people in a trace and make them do some strange things. I thought he was joking, but now I ain’t so sure.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    IDK, what did YOU do?

  • D.T.

    Exactly, you don’t know. And asking me what I’ve done proves what against my point? There’s evidence to show how YOU ALL dropped the ball.

    You’re coming across as a hit dog with these little one liner replies.

  • Kacey

    @Greg Dragon: Why don’t you just stay off of Clutch since you have so many issues with the people who frequent and comment here? Isn’t there some black-woman-bashing, pro-n*gger site you can find on these here interwebs?? Go.Away!!!

  • M.M.S.

    Thanks Natalie and sorry about that Greg.

    As to YB: Django isn’t an adaptation of a slave narrative, it’s a spaghetti western about a slave who is exacting his revenge – that’s how I saw it. A MOVIE, a fiction film aka not based on truth. It may borrow SOME truths, but Django was created by Mr. Tarantino, and sorry but love story it wasn’t (to me) because Broomhilda wasn’t a fully developed character – IMO. Overall I like the film and glad it made the money it did. I like Tarantino. I tend to see films by directors and writers I like, oh and actors too.

    I knew what the film was about before I paid my money to go see it. I wasn’t offended by it. I can make an informed opinion, because I saw it, unlike Mr. Lee. See how that works?

  • Number One Chief

    I agree with spike. First of all Spike is not a punk, nor a thug, so what’s with the name calling Dick. Shouldn’t YOU be above that sir. The movie Malcolm X is head and shoulders above Django Unchained. It is and always will be one of the best movies made, which should have swept the award shows, but real African Americans know why it did not. Oh, and by the way, the early years of Malcolm’s life was spent being a gangster, and dressing like that. That comment was a little week, don’t you think dick. Folks, Dick drops a few sound bites and you all have just run with it, because of your personal disdain for Spike

    I love Jamie fox, but the reasoning, and explanation he gave in some sort of matter-of-fact way to justify this THING called “Django Unchained”, on Cathy Hughes show, was very disturbing to me. I do not want anyone making any sort of mockery, concerning the worst Holocaust against a people ever. Dick mentioned something about being along time ago. Well Dick! have you not noticed that black folks are still catching the same kind of Hell we have always caught; all over the world.

    Our Holocaust is still going on, and it was, and is world wide, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Our struggle continue, and we simply continue to deal with it, and make things happen for ourselves, as we have always done. In addition, I love Samuel L. Jackson, but there are a lot of these sorts of movies with this language and behavior that he does not have a problem with on screen, but this time around I am not in the MOOD, just like Spike. Quentin Tarantino! Yeah, Right.

    Just a note:
    The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade – The middle passage was the worst event in human history, and it spanned decades. Read, study, and know. It was run, and funded by a intense small group of businessmen who ran the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from New York. 98% of them were known to be JEWISH. QUENTIN TERANTINO, do that movie! then again don’t. We better have Spike do it.

    God Bless you my brothers and sisters. We have many stories to write. This is not it.

  • MommieDearest

    *Applause*

    You just said some real siht right there.

    The last time I was this dumbfounded was when black rappers came out of the woodwork to defend Gwenneth Paltrow’s “right” to call other black men the n word. (I bet Malcom rolled-over in his grave when that happened.)

  • Just a thought

    Beautifully written!!!

  • ruggie

    Thank you! It’s been heartbreaking and embarrassing to see black men attack each other over this film. Spike, Dick, Antoine Fuqua, Trey Ellis, Toure, Boyce Watkins, the list goes on. I disagree w/Spike Lee and I think he should’ve at least seen ‘Django Unchained’ before criticizing it but DAMN can we get a reaction to the film without trashing Spike. Dick Gregory was a brilliant comedian in his time but now comes across scattered, desperate. This film is dividing us while a white man reaps the profits.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    People are making me defend Spike Lee here…lol We always scream that we aren’t monolithic and we all don’t think the same so if that is Spike Lee’s opinion then that is HIS opinion. Name calling and ranting isn’t going to make your opinion right it just two different opinions. Do I think Spike Lee should give the movie a chance before he thoroughly critique it, of course, but if he still doesn’t respect the movie and think it is purely rubbish then that is OKAY too. Furthermore, the movie may have made 400 million but it ain’t going in our pockets or filter back into our community so yeah be mindful of who you defend. And he lost me at the Malcolm X reference clearly he needs to re-read up on Malcolm’s history again and if he think Spike Lee’s movie are “thug” movies but have he EVER saw a Quentin Tarantino movie BEFORE Django Unchained… I hate to say this but you can’t totally blame white people for “white privilege” when some of us freely give them free reign with it.

  • stef

    Dick gregory is full of BS? this is shows you the damn problem, people complaining about django cause they are too lazy to read books about slavery so they depend on hollywood to educate them and tell our story.

    then they put down icons like dick gregory who KNEW malcolm and martin fiirst hand, or even put down the book “nigger”( which i have ) which is an excellent deep book. over spike ( i like bro) who hasnt paid nearly10% of the dues this man has.

    would you also put down books like Die nigger die by H rap brown?

    But i guess we are the age of the cyber militant negro activists who protest via twitter and blogs

  • B

    MD,
    Wasn’t that something ?
    The end of days must be near between Paltrow and this … I feel like I am in the twilight zone.

  • The Other Jess

    I honestly am in shock that one Black man has the nerve to viciously verbally attack another Black man over a hip hop-ized, blaxploitation-style spaghetti western made-by-a-white-guy! This is ridiculous and Dick Gregory is wayyyyyy out of line. Spike Lee gave his opinion on whether to see the movie or not. somebody asked him was he going to see it, and he let them know that no, he wasn’t because it was an offense to his history and ancestors. Boom. End of story. That’s Spike’s opinion and he is in no way obligated to see this movie that Quentin tarantino himself said is notmade to be a historically accurate piece.

    I mean to call Spike Lee a thug and uncle tom is beyond crazy – obvioulsy Dick Gregory’s mind has finallybeen completely addled in his old age! This is insane.

    Django Unchained had the nerve to use a Rick Ross song in the soundtrack (yes, the violent, misogynistic rapper Rick Ross who calls Black women b*tches and hoes and Black men niggas) – you cannot get anymore ignorant than that, and this fool Grgory has the NERVE to criticize Spike Lee??

    This is an embarrassment!

  • The Other Jess

    And by the way, Malcom X DID wear zoot suits and wide brim hats because he started out a PIMP, long before he realized the errors in his ways and made a changein his life. I mean really, Dick?? His name says ist all – Dick is a straight up dick!

  • The Other Jess

    Exactly Binks, exactly! I mean, Tarantino had a Black man raped and another Black mans head splattered all over the back seat of a car in Pulp Fiction fo comedic relief, but Dick Gregory has the nerve to diss Spike, who not only made Malcolm X, but made great movies like Crooklyn (which I personally loved)? Gregory is just mad because he was stupid enough to make a book called “nigger”. You know, Black comedians really need to take several seats and shut the heck up in the realm of social issues.

    This is sad.

  • The Other Jess

    Exactly! Anybody ever see Posse or Rosewood? Why is everybody giving Tarantino all this love? Maybe he made a really big budget, graphic movie with lots of interesting parts by that takes nothing away from Black filmmakers, who have always had to work with much smaller budgets, as well as the concrete ceiling in Hollywood, just to have their ideas put on film and distributed to American audiences. Debbie Allen told a story about how she went up and basically begged Spileberg (including doing a dance for him) to make Amistad. It takes 10 times the effort for Black filmmakers to get decent, complex movies made – Gregory knows this, what the heck is wrong with him??

    Gregory is defending a movie that makes out enslaved Black women as prostitutes (and by the way, Gregory called the Black women in the movie ‘hoes’) instead of recognizing that they were sex slaves, which shows what kind of mindset he is in.

    Senility and alzheimers has obviously taken quite a toll on that Dick.

  • The Other Jess

    Totally agree Tonton! Django and Brumhilda didn’t even come together for more than 3 minutes. So not a love story.

  • The Other Jess

    I agree, D.T. – not with the part about the majority of 55+ blacks being Uncle Toms – but that Dick Gregory is an embarrassment to older black people who fought in the Civil Rights and suffered. HE is a boot-licking idiot, but not the majority of 55+ people.

    All I can think is that something has gone wrong withhis brain in his 80+ years. This cannot be normal behavior for him, I just can’t believe it is.

  • The Other Jess

    ** standing up, slow clap, cheering **

  • The Other Jess

    ummm…dude, slavery officially ended in the U.S. in 1865, but some people in the south were still in bondage through the 1960s! Either way, that means “field and house negroes” were in existence in huge numbers less than 150 years ago, and just as recent as 53 years ago. Where the heck did you get that crazy 300 yrs number form? Learn your history.

  • Bait debate

    Erm – actually most black people at the time of Civil Rights Movement were opposed to it. People shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that blacks were united in opposition to Jim Crow.

    I don’t know why so many present day blacks assume that blacks in the past were united in opposition to White Supremacy when experience from our own time shows us that many blacks are committed white supremacists. eg the black politician class and it’s cheerleaders in the black media.

    How many on this site would have been actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement if they were around at the time?

    How many here are involved the present day Reparations, anti-incarceration, or anti-poverty movements?

    How many here are critical of American foreign policy and imperialism in Africa and the Carribean?

    How many are critical of Americas policies in its internal colonies – the ghettos where blacks and other minorities kept cooped up and impoverished or scooped up and jailed?

    None from what I can tell.

    Many southern black news publications of the Civil rights era criticized the CRM as a divisive cause which was destroying the “good relations” that had existed between black and whites. Malcolm X pointed this out many times in his speeches.

    I would place this site in the above category as most here would have opposed the Dr Martin Luther King who broke ranks with the president and became a serious critic of American foreign policy, and advocate for workers rights.

    The only King who would be supported here is the Dr King who preached racial integration. (read swirling)

    No – we have to connect the RIGHT blacks to the historical line of struggle and resistance and call out those within our own ranks who have opposed and sabotaged their efforts to liberate us from white supremacy; so that future generations of black freedom fighters and activists are better equipped to neutralize the danger they pose.

    The uncle tom and buffer classes who exist in every generation should not be given credit they don’t deserve.

    As for Dick Gregory and his comments – my feeling is shut up old man.

    And on Django the movie, some say it depicts plantation life far more realistically than is usual in films about slavery. Most imagine that enslaved Africans were confined to cotton picking, not many know that blacks did all of the skilled work to build and maintain the plantation and its tools/machinery, and in many cases, managed the plantation administratively. That it also accurately portrays the dependency relationship that whites had with their most trusted black servants.

    I guess time will tell us what to make of this film.

  • b

    Does Spike Lee not put down others?

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Nothing else need be said, Bravo!!!!

  • Ms. Write

    I”m very confused about how She’s Got to Have It and Malcolm X could be interpreted as disrespectful. Someone enlighten me…

  • Beautiful Mic

    This has got to be staged. The man doesn’t support the film and hasn’t seen it. That doesn’t make him a thug.

    If it don’t support popular black art, or join the ‘popular’ black consensus, group think, or bandwagon, that doesn’t make me a thug, as a black person.

    Sometimes a general outline is all that is needed to know what something/a person is about and whether or not you want to support it/them.

    I haven’t seen the film, so I have not comment on it; and I don’t necessarily care for Spike Lee.

    But I think this thing here is a charade.

  • Ms. Write

    I was also very confused. What could be interpreted as disrespectful in either of the movies? Someone please enlighten me.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Perhaps Lee has some personal gripe.

    Or he’s volunteered to be an example of a person expressing a ‘non-informed’ opinion.

  • Beautiful Mic

    @Greg Dragon –

    quote: Bro my universe is called “progress and forward-thinking”

    you mean “Anglo-Saxonism”.

  • Tallulah Belle

    You are an Anti-Semite, my friend. You know nothing about the Trans-Atlantic slave tradem obviously. You are perpetuating a tiredm old, ignorant lie about the number of Jews who participated in the slave trade. Your views are ill-informed and intended to subtly drive a wedge between Jews and Blacks — an archaic strategy of divide and conquer. Go read a history book. Seriously, open its pages, concentrate, and READ. May I suggest a recent and complex piece on the history of The New World entitled 1493 by Charles C. Mann. I greatly enjoyed it.

  • B

    Beautiful Mic

    How is his opinion non informed?
    Let’s say you went to see Django…..
    What information did you use to determine that you wanted to see Django? (trailer, reviews, word of mouth, director’s other film, actors ) Why can’t people use that SAME information to determine if they find it offensive?

    Some black people take their money very serious when it comes to Hollywood. Whether people want to admit it or not when you pay for the movie ticket you have chosen to support the movie. Period. Hand wringing after it means nothing, you voted with your dollar. They have your money and could careless if you were offended or degraded after the fact. I don’t get the mentality ” I going to pay to see if I am offended”.
    If one finds something problematic with a movie and pays for it anyway they are foolish. If Hollywood can get you to pay for a movie in-spite of your reservations you’ve been duped.

  • The Other Jess

    @B – best comment ever!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    stef, Save your hysteria for some one else I read those books in middle school, but that is irrelevant as is your rant since my focus in my comment was ole Dick’s choice of words to describe Spike, his apparent selective memory on who Malcolm X was before he was Malcolm X, the gap in his cinematic memory of films that preceded Django that dealt with similar themes and the b#%$$ ass forum he chose to express HIS OPINION instead of seeking out Spike himself
    Something I would expect a man his age to know better.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    You have evidence of him calling people out their name?

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Still didn’t answer the question.

  • http://elephantchronicles-nell.blospot.com jamiroqaigurl3000

    i think ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ comes under fire in that it depicted a promiscuous Black woman whose sexuality was quite free and under the control of no one but Nola. many Black males from Dick’s heyday and those around Martin Luther King were very conservative Christians, especially when it came to women’s sexuality. so to him, that film (one of my favorite’s) was “trash” because it didn’t show a celibate and meek Black woman going to church everyday while reading the bible in her spare time.

  • http://elephantchronicles-nell.blospot.com jamiroqaigurl3000

    how was ‘Girl 6′ and ‘She Hate Me; disrespectful to the ancestors?.

    but “slavery is not just Black’s history, but America’s history. Tarantino has a right to tell his version of it.” is pure foolishness.

    for one, yes, slavery is America’s history. however, there’s only one group who experienced that on the receiving end, and we have the right to tell the story more so than anyone else, and if we decide who gets to tell the story and who does not – that is our right. i don’t necessarily have an issue with non-Blacks telling the facts about slavery, but Black filmmakers (authors, writers, historians, professors, etc.) are struggling right now and Spike could barely get money to fund Malcolm X. this is the problem. the problem is that white people are given the opportunity, the space, the funding, and the support to tell their version of slavery much more often than Black folks. THAT is the problem. and this is simply a perpetuation of that.
    oh, documentaries and libraries are for that? because it’s not like a lot of people don’t get their views of certain historical events from films and rarely step into a library in their lifetimes. so basically, you’re saying it’s ok if a white man tell his version of slavery, even if it’s inaccurate. and you wonder why spike lee called it disrespectful to his ancestors???

  • http://elephantchronicles-nell.blospot.com jamiroqaigurl3000

    the issue with the use of the N-word in the film is not in reference to it being historically inaccurate. of course they used the word a lot at that period in time (white folks still use it pretty often). the issue is that Spike (and others) feel that Tarantino has some type of fixation with the word, and chooses to say it whenever he can and put it in his films to feed this. which isn’t surprising, i think white folks jizz their pants whenever they say or feel they can say the N-word.
    i have a white teacher who teaches a Black history course i take, and he says the word every chance he can get. nearly every slide in his slide-shows has something about “Nigger Lake” or “Nigger Shoe Polish”, etc. and he chooses to read these out every single time. why? this is college and we can read. he reads them out because this is a situation in which it is socially acceptable to say the word. and he’s going to say it as many times as he possibly can. i think there is a fixation.

    but moreso, if we as Black people are sensitive or feel a certain way about the use of the N-word, that’s out right! this word hurts no one but us and if we don’t like when, how often, where or who uses the word then he as a white person need to be cognizant of that and other Black folks need to understand that certain other Black folks feel strongly about the word and to stop down-playing other Black folks’ feelings about the word.

  • harriet

    first,

    once detroit red made the transition to being malcolm x he used his dress, and name to signal that he had changed and become a better man. i think that dick gregory, someone who is much closer to that time might be referring to the way that spike’s film glamorized the detroit red era. even maya angelou talked about how malcolm stopped dancing once he converted to islam.

    second,
    as a black woman i found girl 6 and she gotta have very disrespectful to all black women. both films were very misgony personified. he also got side eye from me for crooklyn. i mean, that little girl basically became her mama at the end of that film, cooking and cleaning while the father lived his ‘jazz’ lifestyle. total bullshit. all these films give a pretty clear message about the role spike thinks women should take on in life.

    third,
    as for slavery. it is a sensitive topic but everyone take a deep breath and realize that our ancestors survived a degradation that NO ONE can truly understand unless they themselves experienced it.No one who is living today who can truly understand what they had to endure on a daily basis or the extent of their sacrifices and the fight they engaged in to free themselves.

    for those spouting tired and false conspiracy theories, please read the primary documents written by formerly enslaved people and the rebels who kept up the fight for freedom. A reading list is below. please please read real, history and by that I mean first person accounts.

    David Walker’s Appeal

    William Still, a conductor on the underground railroad wrote an account of his life and his passengers

    Sojourner Truth- she couldn’t read or write but spoke her life so that it could be preserved

    Benjamin ‘Pap’ Singleton, a leader founded Nicodemus Kansas as a refuge for Black folks fleeing violence in the Reconstruction south

    For you NYC folks, read Maritcha Lyons, an activist and educator who was born and raised in lower Manhattan in the 19th century

    The Library of Congress has recorded interviews with people who endured enslavement. These were done in the 1930s and can heard for free on their website.

    If y’all have time to read Clutch, then you have time to read some history

    I liked the movie because I am personally sick of watching westerns that don’t include black characters, or address the crazy racism of Texas/Arizona/New Mexico/California back then.

  • harriet

    when is the last time you saw Posse? That movie doesn’t stand the test of time. i tried to watch it last year and had to turn it off. It’s terrible. And if you want to talk about being inaccurate . . .dress and speech are clearly more inspired by a PM dawn video than history

  • stef

    here is the MAIN thing dick Gregory doesn’t have to re-read” Malcolm x history because he knew Malcolm X personally, not through a Alex Haley book about the man.

    as much as i like spike would never diss Dick Gregory over him

  • stef

    Its obvious , you come from the spike lee school of criticizing without seeing or reading something. Read the Book “nigger” by dick Gregory” or the book “die nigger die” by H rap Brown before you call a man stupid

  • Gia B.

    Thank you for this, I’ll check these out.

  • Beautiufl Mic

    @B – I agree with you, but many people would say that is, still, being uniformed. As I stated above, I’m suspicions that this is a charade, not real beef, as in the players are really a ‘team’ behind the veils…action out a scenario where it’s implied that someone SHOULD be shamed…setting a ‘standard’ or trying to , anyway…

    as you see, it seems that the majority out there are siding with Gregory and mainstream black and white media seem to be shitting on Lee.

    However, and you stated, why waste your time and money to see a movie where you already have strong, supported, reasons for not liking it?

    If I made sense…

  • Nick Di Maso

    Anti- Semetism is a made up word , used by zionist jews to directly attack non-jews and instill some kind of weird guilt tripp! Most non-jews died in WWll, it was gentile fighting gentile, it was set up long before WWll by the elders of zion.
    Every time a gentile questions the holocaust, they are labeled with the horrific word anti-semite..Furthermore, 98%of the Atlantic slave trade was dominated by jews..Yet to this present day zionists seek to destroy us by using the black man against our personal interests & well being.. These are rights that we have from God, to prosper and flourish as a race.. I’m sorry sweety, but ur the one misinformed!

  • Olc

    Thanks, gonna save that list…..If nothing else, I think its good that this is being discussed in the mainstream at all!! As a white Irish guy with half Afro-Caribbean brother and sister, I think its great that people in Ireland are being shown what slavery actually consisted of, cos slavery in History class in school was little to none! Even if it means there is a Hollywood touch to the film, I found nothing that was factually incorrect, even if the story isn’t true….if that makes sense? So I’m glad its being talked about at all….just my 2 cents!

  • http://gravatar.com/athegreat86 a the great

    Cleary you’ve never seen Inglorious Bastards @georgeWilliams

  • http://gravatar.com/athegreat86 a the great

    This argument is really getting old. I enjoyed Django and plan on seeing it again. Call me an Uncle Thomasina or whatever. I agrre with Dick Gregory minus the name calling. Clearly Spike has issues with Tarnatino. To voice your opinion on a movie you don’t want to see is invalid and a waste of time. I unlike some of the commentators on here I did see the love story and I also saw a hero. Of most Hollywood Slave films both fictional and non fictional I’ve seen, I’ve never seen a black character fight back with violence. And I loved that! call me crazy but whatever. It’s so funny on here for the ones that are defending Spike get upset at the name calling but you name call or bash the ones that disagree with him or even like the film. Hypocrisy ain’t it?

  • http://cityarcade.wordpress.com srcoop44

    How can Dick Gregory refer to Spike Lee as being a thug, when he’s the one doing all of the name calling? Punk? C’mon Dick you are too old to be acting like a “THUG”. And addressing another successful Black man as being a punk is completely beyond me. If Spike was white would he still be a punk? Absolutely not! It’s so sad that Black people today are more inclined to tear one another down than build each other up. I did not see the move simply because I believe it’s deplorable for African Americans to support anything that commemorates the world’s biggest crime against African people, and the Continent of Africa as a whole. It’s very saddening when a movie that depicts us in our lowest light and our lowest level of existence did twice as better in box office revenue than a much positive depiction of us in the form of proud African American fighter pilots in the movie “Red Tails”. D’jango’s success was primarily at the expense of African Americans, who purchased ove 65% of their box office tickets. ~SIGHT~ What kind of message are we sending to our future generations?

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