In a recent interview with The Times, veteran actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson dismissed Joe Rogan’s apology for repeatedly using the N-word, saying the White podcast host shouldn’t have used the racial slur in the first place.
“He is saying nobody understood the context when he said it,” Jackson said while reportedly rolling his eyes. “But he shouldn’t have said it.”
In February, a video compilation of Rogan using the racial slur surfaced on social media in the wake of the criticisms he faced for using his Spotify podcast to allegedly spread COVID-19 misinformation. The 54-year-old issued an apology for using the racial slur following the backlash.
“I know that to most people, there’s no context where a White person is ever allowed to say that, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that,” Rogan said at the time.
But Jackson slammed Rogan’s comments, saying, “It’s not the context, dude — it’s that he was comfortable doing it.”
“Say that you’re sorry because you want to keep your money, but you were having fun and you say you did it because it was entertaining,” Jackson continued. “It needs to be an element of what the story is about. A story is context — but just to elicit a laugh? That’s wrong.”
Despite criticizing Rogan, Jackson came to the defense of Quentin Tarantino over the writer and director’s use of the N-word in his movies such as Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. Jackson, 73, featured in both films.
During rehearsals for Django Unchained, Jackson also recalled fellow co-star Leonardo DiCaprio made it known he felt uncomfortable using the racial slur as his character in the script was supposed to mention it multiple times, CNN reported.
“Me and Quentin said that you have to. Every time someone wants an example of overuse of the n-word, they go to Quentin — it’s unfair,” Jackson said. “He’s just telling the story and the characters do talk like that. When [fellow director] Steve McQueen does it, it’s art. He’s an artiste. Quentin’s just a popcorn filmmaker.”