Quentin Tarantino has often faced criticism for a gratuitous use of the N-word in his films.
Pam Grier, star of Tarantino’s third film, 1997’s “Jackie Brown,” shot down the notion Tarantino was at fault, saying during a SiriusXM appearance Thursday that if anyone was to blame, it was Samuel L. Jackson — or moreso, his characters.
“That was Sam’s acting craft doing it,” Grier told show host Bevy Smith. “So, and people brought that up. And Quentin says, ‘I don’t know why they do it. I didn’t do it.’ And Sam said, ‘No, I did it. I said it.'”
Jackson, who has been in a Tarantino-most six of the director’s nine films, has also defended Tarantino in the face of criticism, saying though he indeed ad-libbed many of the N-words in movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Jackie Brown,” it was important to the story that Tarantino’s writing remain authentic.
Grier said Jackson’s acting only heightened the narratives and the roles he portrayed.
“Cause his character should say that that many times,” Grier said. “My n—-, my, come on now. You know, that’s an endearment. That’s that jargon. That’s that street hustle, your tone.”
Grier, who in “Jackie Brown” plays a flight attendant caught up in a drug-smuggling operation, said the word’s use reflected on the character Jackson was portraying — not on Jackson as a person.
“Sam didn’t do it,” Grier said. “[Tarantino] only wrote maybe 10 times in the script, but Sam’s character did it like 50.”
Grier also pushed back at the idea Tarantino’s use of the N-word in his movies could be offensive because he is white.
“That’s overthinking,” Grier said. “That’s overthinking. … They’re people trying to find out, ‘Is there something wrong with the filmmaker?’ Where they never ask him. And Sam did say it in articles, but people don’t read. They don’t read everything. They’re too quick to say like … for voting right now, ‘We’re gonna stop crime. And explain, you know, people who are dyslexic, didn’t get an education or a job and they’re hungry and they’re stealing televisions just to eat. That kind of crime? Or the crime for someone who’s mentally ill and sees, hears voices in his head and he goes to buy a machine and shoots 20 children. That kind of crime? Explain yourself. It’s so easy to say one word and generalize, which cheats everybody from the truth.”
Watch SiriusXM’s full interview of Grier here or at the top of this post.