Samuel L. Jackson Compares Joe Rogan and Tarantinos N-Word Use: It Must Be Element of the Story
Samuel L. Jackson is dismissing Joe Rogan’s apology for using the N-word several times on episodes of his podcast. Grammy Award-winning musician India Arie first called out Rogan’s N-word use by posting a video compilation to Instagram last month of Rogan using the racial slur over two dozen times. Rogan apologized for his use of the N-word, but he also called the backlash against him a “political hit job.”
“There’s been a lot of shit from the old episodes of the podcast that I wish I hadn’t said, or had said differently,” Rogan said, adding that his use of the N-word was “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve had to talk about publicly” and that many of the clips Arie shared were “taken out of context of 12 years of conversations on my podcast.”
“I know to most people, there’s no context in which a white person is ever allowed to say that word and I agree with that now,” Rogan added. “I haven’t said it in years.”
Jackson spoke to The Times and had this to say about Rogan’s N-word use and apology: “He is saying nobody understood the context when he said it, but he shouldn’t have said it. It’s not the context, dude – it’s that he was comfortable doing it. Say you’re sorry because you want to keep your money, but you were having fun and you say you did it because it was entertaining.”
For Jackson, using the N-word in media is only appropriate when it is “an element of what the story is about. A story is context – but just to elicit a laugh? That’s wrong.” Jackson then turned to his frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino, who is often criticized for using the N-word repeatedly in his screenplays. Jackson views Tarantino’s stories as giving proper context to the use of racial slurs. Tarantino’s slavery film “Django Unchained” includes the N-word hundreds of times, but Jackson has long maintained the film’s dialogue is authentic to its 1850s setting.
“While we were rehearsing [the slave movie] ‘Django Unchained,’ Leo [DiCaprio] said, ‘I don’t know if I can say [the N-word] this many times,’” Jackson said. “Me and Quentin said that you have to. Every time someone wants an example of overuse of the N-word, they go to Quentin — it’s unfair. He’s just telling the story and the characters do talk like that. When Steve McQueen does it, it’s art. He’s an artiste. Quentin’s just a popcorn filmmaker.”
Jackson has long defended Tarantino’s use of the N-word. The actor said in the Tarantino documentary, “QT8: The First Eight,” that there’s “no dishonesty in anything that [Quentin] writes or how people talk, feel, or speak [in his movies].”
Head over to The Times’ website to read Jackson’s latest interview in its entirety.
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