Samuel L. Jackson plays crusty, waxen Stephen as a vision of depraved loyalty and bombastic jive that cuts right past the obvious association with Uncle Tom. The movie is too modern for what Jackson is doing to be limited to 1853. He’s conjuring the house Negro, yes, but playing him as though he were Clarence Thomas or Alan Keyes or Herman Cain or Michael Steele, men whom some black people find embarrassing.
“It’s a safe bet the writer includes himself in that category,” Christian Toto of Big Hollywood writes in response to the Globe’s review of Tarantino’s new film:
The men in question are certainly very different. Thomas is a cool, calculated legal eagle, while Cain is a charismatic talker with great business savvy. Steele is a political animal, someone well versed in the ebb and flow of the news cycle. And Keyes is a social conservative of the first order.
What does their skin color have to do with it? Tarantino isn’t directly calling the four men house Negroes. That’s Morris’ interpretation. And it’s a rather distasteful one.
In a new video on the PJM homepage, Alfonzo Rachel explores “Quentin Tarantino’s Fixation with The ‘N’ Word,” and asks why Tarantino gets a David Gregory-esque pass for using the word over 100-times in his new film — and in similarly copious quantities in his previous movies.