Quentin Tarantino says “there’s no truth” to Kanye West’s claim that the rapper came up with the idea for Tarantino’s 2012 movie, “Django Unchained,” and the director stole it.
The filmmaker, who won an Oscar for writing the freed-slave drama starring Jamie Foxx, has refuted the embattled rap artist’s remarks, which West made during a recent interview with pundit Piers Morgan.
West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, contended that he came up with the idea for “Django” for his 2005 song “Gold Digger.”
“There’s not truth to the idea that Kanye West came up with the idea of ‘Django’ and then he told it to me and I go, ‘Hey, wow, that’s a really great idea, let me take Kanye’s idea and make “Django Unchained” out of it.’ OK. That didn’t happen,” Tarantino said Thursday when appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” (Skip to the 17:30-minute mark of their interview.)
“I’d had the idea for ‘Django’ for a while before I ever met Kanye,” he added.
The filmmaker and author, 59 — whose new book, “Cinema Speculation,” drags film criticism (including critics at the Los Angeles Times) — said that Ye wanted to enlist directors to work with different tracks from his 2004 album, “The College Dropout,” and “release it as this giant movie.
“So we used it as an excuse to meet each other. So we meet each other, and we had a really good time. And he did have an idea for a video — and I do think it was for the ‘Gold Digger’ video — that he would be a slave,” Tarantino recalled.
“And the whole thing was the slave narrative, where he’s the slave, and he’s singing ‘Gold Digger.’ And it was very funny. It was a really, really funny idea … it was meant to be ironic. It’s like a huge musical,” he added. “I mean, like, no expenses spared, all right? With him in this, like, slave rag outfit doing everything. Then that was also part of the pushback on it. But I wish he had done it. It sounded really cool. Anyway, that’s what he’s referring to.”
The “Gold Digger” music video ended up featuring Foxx and West dancing with pin-up models instead.
The music and fashion mogul has received widespread condemnation and precipitously fallen from grace in recent weeks after making antisemitic remarks and false claims about the death of George Floyd, whose family is suing the rapper for harassment, misappropriation and defamation.
Ye, who made a failed White House run in 2020, has been making outlandish and hurtful claims for years, including infamously saying in 2018 that slavery was “a choice.”
But his recent provocations — such as wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt alongside right-wing commentator Candace Owens and having several Black models in his Yeezy fashion show do the same — have led to professional fallout and brief suspensions from Instagram and Twitter.
In the past week, the Grammy Award winner was dropped by talent agency CAA and reportedly by his record label. Global brands including Adidas, JP Morgan Chase, Balenciaga, the Gap, Foot Locker and Peloton have ended their partnerships with him too. The rapper was escorted out of Skechers’ Manhattan Beach headquarters earlier this week after arriving unannounced, and his Donda Academy appears to be shuttering.
He returned to Instagram on Wednesday and claimed he “lost 2 billion dollars in one day.”
On Thursday, CNN reported that West long admired Adolf Hitler and made remarks about the Nazi dictator, remarks that had been cut from his infamous TMZ interview in which he said slavery was “a choice.”