We so wish this was the most controversial thing Kanye West had said over the past couple weeks… and as easily discredited.
Lost in the sea of antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and other vile things the rapper has spewed this month, he also claimed in there somewhere that Django Unchained was really his idea. He told Piers Morgan in their wide-ranging interview that Quentin Tarantino had stolen the idea from him after he pitched it to star Jamie Foxx as the idea for his music video for 2005’s Gold Digger. He claimed:
“Tarantino can write a movie about slavery, where actually — him and Jamie — they got the idea from me, because the idea for ‘Django’ I pitched to Jamie Foxx and Quentin Tarantino as the video for ‘Gold Digger’… And then Tarantino turned it into a film.”
This is just how Ye works. He calls himself a genius in all forms enough and eventually he believes it — and grows to believe he’s the author of everything he likes… in his own mind anyway.
The claim is obviously somewhere adjacent to the truth — but Tarantino tells it quite a bit differently. The filmmaker guested on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night, and the host had to ask about the boast. QT stated unequivocally:
“There’s no truth to the idea that Kanye West came up with the idea of Django and then he told that 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.’ That didn’t happen.”
He says he’d been toying with the idea for Django Unchained — which is named after the cowboy character played by Franco Nero in many a spaghetti western — “for a while before I ever met Kanye.” So what did happen with the Yeezy founder? They met when the hitmaker “wanted to do a giant movie version of The College Dropout” and was pitching to giant-sized music videos to Hollywood powerhouses:
“So he wanted to get big directors to do different tracks from the album and then release it as this giant movie… not videos, nothing as crass as videos, movies, they were going to be movies based on each of the different tracks.”
Quentin says he thought of the project pitch as the mutual fans’ “excuse to meet each other.” But Ye “did have an idea for a video” that he liked, and it did feature Kanye playing a slave:
“I do think it was for the Gold Digger video, that he would be a slave. And the whole thing was this slave narrative where he’s a slave and he’s singing ‘Gold Digger.’ And it was very funny. It was a really, really funny idea.”
“And it’s like a huge musical. I mean, like no expenses spared with him in this slave rag outfit, doing everything, and 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.”
What did happen with the video? Kanye and Jamie, who sang on the chorus of Gold Digger, starred in a much less ambitious video by Hype Williams.
But as for the rest of the plot of Django Unchained? Like the dentist, the Klan scene, Broomhilda, Calvin Candy, the entire movie? Everything other than it being “about a slave”? Nah.
BTW, the idea Tarantino and Jamie Foxx took the idea together makes no sense. QT famously intended for Will Smith to play the lead, but he turned it down! Jamie only got cast after!
We can’t say we’re surprised, tbh. To say you have to take what Ye says with a grain of salt these days is doing a disservice to sodium. Anyway, here’s Tarantino’s full version of events (below):