DENVER -- Following a screening of the recently-released film "Django Unchained," Houston-based entertainment reporter Jake Hamilton felt like he had a valid question to ask.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson felt as though the question – valid as it may or may not have been – was not one he was willing to answer unless one demand was met.
Hamilton had to say the n-word -- the word that his question pertained to.
It’s a word that makes 110 appearances in “Django Unchained,” in which Jackson appears. The word's frequency in the film has many offended.
Apparently one of those offended parties is not Jackson.
Jackson's somewhat-playful back-and-forth with Hamilton revolving around the racial slur was captured on a video that the reporter put on YouTube. It has since gone viral.
Jackson is yet to respond to the video. Therefore, he is yet to give an explanation about why he thought it was so important for Hamilton, a white reporter for KRIV, to use the racial slur before he could answer any questions about it.
With that being the case, FOX31 Denver had Hamilton on our “Everyday” show Thursday to ask about the point he believes Jackson was trying to make.
“I think by me not saying (the n-word) or me not feeling comfortable saying it, it’s ultimately giving the word more power,” Hamilton said. “I think that’s ultimately what he (Jackson) was trying to prove.”
Point or no point, Hamilton said he is still not comfortable saying the word.
That doesn’t mean that Hamilton thinks the rampant usage was inappropriate in the film “Django Unchained,” which is set in the Antebellum Era (between 1781-1860) when slavery was prominent.
“(This film) is set in a time period where the n-word was used a lot,” Hamilton said.
But the fact remains that an indulgence in this particular derogatory term isn’t entirely new for filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. The n-word is also featured prominently in “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Jackie Brown,” all Tarantino films that are set in modern eras.
With that fact in mind, Hamilton formed this question: “Where do you draw the line between when you can use the n-word for art, and when it’s essentially offensive?”
One final fact observed through Hamilton's eyes: “I had what I thought was a valid question to ask and I wasn’t allowed to ask it,” he said.
So what are the chances that Jackson might eventually answer it, or, at the very least, respond to the YouTube clip? Slim to none, Hamilton thinks. And don't expect that to offend him.
“I think Sam Jackson has far more important things to do than worry about someone like me,” Hamilton said. “I don’t expect to hear from him, and that's fine.”