Josh Hamilton, who was teased by actor Samuel L. Jackson during an interview about Django Unchained after refusing the say the n-word during the question and answer session, says that he has been waiting for the internet rehashing of the amusingly uncomfortable moment to die down — but it seems to be going in the other direction.
As we reported earlier, Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hamilton sat down to discuss Django Unchained, but the interview became humorously tense when the interviewer broached the question of the controversial epithet and its prolific use in the film.
At first feigning lack of understanding (“No? Nobody? None? The word would be … “), Jackson then told Hamilton he would answer the question — if Hamilton himself uttered the word instead of its less-offensive stand in. (Comic Louis CK had a bit about the substitution, joking about how those who don’t say the actual word thrust the responsibility of its impact upon the listener and not the one saying it.)
What ensued was awkward and funny, and consequently, much of the internet was exposed to the clip of Jackson making Hamilton squirm relentlessly before the two agreed to move on to other subjects.
Now Hamilton has addressed the viral clip, and explains why he made the decision to drop the line of questioning rather than say the n-word. Of the clip’s popularity, the interviewer says:
“It has spurred an actual debate as to the legitimacy of this word. When or is there a way to use this word and what are the ‘rules’ of using it … You can make the argument that the word in Django is justified. The movie takes place in 1858, on a plantation in Mississippi — of course that word is going to be used. But Sam Jackson has been known — and has been criticized — for using that word in Quentin Tarantino films, specifically Jackie Brown, in the past.”
Hamilton explains that he never considered using the term to placate Jackson, and says that he finds the actor to be somewhat unnerving:
“He’s an intimidating guy. I’ve talked to him once before for The Avengers and that interview went okay. But it’s one of those things where I have my own set of moral values, just like anybody else and I’m not going to compromise them for anyone, much less a celebrity … After that it was just kind of like well, we have to be here and I’m not going to get up and walk out and I’m obviously going to keep going and plow through this.”
Since the clip went viral, Hamilton says that many viewers of Django Unchained have reacted in different ways — he adds:
“There is a big group of people who sort of pat my back in the sense that they agree that I shouldn’t have said it … Then there is a large following of people — and I get where they are coming from — who say that I should have said it, and that by not saying it I’m only empowering it more and making the word even worse … I get that and I understand what the argument is and a lot of people say that’s the point that Mr. Jackson was trying to prove. But at the end of the day, I just — I don’t say it. You can make the argument that I’m making it worse by not saying it but so be it. I’m just not going to say the word.”
Watch the clip of Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hamilton in their n-word exchange, below: