It should come as no surprise that when it comes to the subject of slavery, Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino, it’s like someone showing up at a gas station with a flame thrower. Drama is going to ensue. That’s guaranteed.
Well then it should come as no surprise that when Professor Michael Eric Dyson, who was subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC this past Thursday, basically disagreed with Spike Lee as far as “Django Unchained” is concerned, that there would be an outcry from those who are down with Spike’s point of view.
One such person is filmmaker Glenn R. Towery. He’s written a scathing open letter letting the world know of his disgust with Dyson. Read it in its entirety below. But first, if you missed it, here is Dyson’s review that was also delivered with Dr. James Peterson of Lehigh University.
*(Thursday night) I witnessed a man with a PH.D. make one of the most asinine statements you may ever hear from the lips of a well educated man.
This is a man whom I have respected in the past and to whom a position of leadership has been ascribed because of the nature of his position in the African American community.
The man, Michael Eric Dyson, decided to take on the question of whether or not Quentin Tarantino’s new film, “DJANGO UNCHAINED” was in fact an embarrassing waste of film and an affront to the African American people it purports to uplift. I could not believe my ears nor eyes as Michael Eric Dyson and his sidekick Dr. James Peterson lambasted Spike Lee for calling Quentin Tarantino’s film exactly what it is, a film not worth seeing. They did this without even having Spike on the show to defend his statement. Then after they extolled the virtues of this racist celluloid attack on African American people they aired a recorded rant from “Quentin Tarantino” himself who personally continued to attack director Spike Lee’s statement with Quentin’s profound outrage. I kept thinking now what does Quentin Tarantino have to be so angry about? No one has called him out of his name repeatedly in a movie. After all, he is able to raise millions of dollars to do any type of film that he so desires whenever he wants to do a movie. He is the industries best violence boy. The so-called king of shock and because of that he feels that he has the right to do what ever he wants in his films and that he has no reason to be sensitive to cultures such as the African American culture whenever he does it. After all he is after shock!
Well Quentin, you don’t really have a dog in this fight, you are not Black, and because of that you have absolutely no right to be outraged like you were on The Ed Show last night. You used the “N” word in your film 110 times Quentin. Yet you have not the faintest idea that you should offer an apology. You have no idea Quentin because you have no sensitivity and little caring, understanding and or respect for African American’s and their experience in America. Spike says that it is disrespectful to our ancestors, in my opinion he is right.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, how can you call a fiction film “a fascinating study” of a peoples history. This film, in fact is based on nothing but the fictionalized telling of a made up tale from the mind of a director or writer whom themselves may very well be racists.
Michael Eric Dyson and James Peterson went on to demean Spike Lee because, in his own words he refused to even go and see the movie. Lost on either of the two men is the fact that if you go to see this bullshit film, you have, by that very action, supported the movie. They seemed to get of on calling each other doctor. Remember guys, pride comes before the fall.
I applaud Spike Lee’s decision not to support this film in anyway. My wife and I made the very same decision shortly after it came out and we got some news from the reviews. I applaud Spike Lee for “Respecting the Sacrifices of our Ancestors”. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey, James Meredith, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Dorothy Height and many others who have given the ultimate sacrifice did not stand up to seemingly impossible odds to go to a theater in 2012 and pay for a ticket to see a movie that would call them the “N” word from the screen 110 times.
Quentin should apologize for what he has done and never do it again. However, he is so arrogant and connected and supported by Hollywood as well as affluent African Americans who have lost their way from the tribe. Quentin Tarantino is at best, a bully. He has been picking on my culture for a long time and getting away with it. Until a champion arrives, he will continue to bully us whenever and however he wants. As far as his talent is concerned I suspect that if you take away the unsavory language and violence that he uses as a constant tool in every film he does you will discover that he actually has very little talent as a filmmaker, he is paper dragon, there is no there, there. His type of filmmaking, in many ways, represents everything that is wrong with Hollywood.
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. James Peterson I suggest that you both get a mental checkup, perhaps a cultural pride transplant. Its an easy operation you just have to “Respect the Sacrifices of Your Ancestors”. Revisit African American history. Maybe go see Steven Speilberg’s “Lincoln.” Whatever you do remember that when you are in the seat that you are in, you have a responsibility to all Americans to tell the truth and make others better because of it.
Glenn R. Towery is CEO of FAIRY GOD BROTHER PRODUCTIONS & FILM COMPANY, LLC. Post Office Box 32647 Los Angeles, CA 90032 (A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION) He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org