In an interview with Bret Easton Ellis for T Magazine, Tarantino revealed his opinion of Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” which was largely left out of last year’s Oscar race, leading many to criticize the Academy for its exclusion. While it was nominated for best picture, it was not nominated in the acting and directing categories.
“She did a really good job on ‘Selma’ but ‘Selma’ deserved an Emmy,” he said to “American Psycho” author.
Update, 10/14: Tarantino later backpedaled on these comments in an email to IndieWire, writing, “I’m writing you to pass on that the quote from the NY Times piece about ‘Selma’ is wrong. I never saw ‘Selma.’ If you look at the article, it was Bret who was talking about ‘Selma,’ not me. I did say the line ‘it deserved a Emmy,’ but when I said it, it was more like a question.
Which basically meant, ‘it’s like a TV movie?’ Which Bret and myself being from the same TV generation, was not only understood, but there was no slam intended. Both Bret and myself come from the seventies and eighties when there were a lot of historically based TV movies: the King mini-series written by Abby Mann staring Paul Winfield; ‘Crisis at Central High’ with Joanne Woodward. And ‘Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys.’ These were great TV movies. I’d be honored to be placed next to those films. However, I haven’t seen it. Does it look like a seventies TV movie? Yes. Does it play like one, I don’t know, I haven’t seen it.”
In the T Magazine piece, Ellis and Tarantino also discussed the backlash the director received in 2012 following the release of “Django Unchained.” Tarantino was panned by some black writers and filmmakers who believed he diminished the experience of slavery. He felt that these criticisms came from him being a white man.
“When the black critics came out with savage think pieces about ‘Django,’ I couldn’t have cared less. If people don’t like my movies, they don’t like my movies, and if they don’t get it, it doesn’t matter,” Tarantino said. “The bad taste that was left in my mouth had to do with this: It’s been a long time since the subject of a writer’s skin was mentioned as often as mine. You wouldn’t think the color of a writer’s skin should have any effect on the words themselves. In a lot of the more ugly pieces, my motives were really brought to bear in the most negative way. It’s like I’m some supervillain coming up with this stuff.”
Reps for DuVernay did not immediately respond to request for comment.