Kanye West says Quentin Tarantino took his idea for 'Django Unchained'

Rapper Kanye West, embroiled in controversy for antisemitism and political statements, said he came up with the idea for 'Django Unchained' as the music video for 'Gold Digger.'

  Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020.  (photo credit: REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo)
Rapper Kanye West holds his first rally in support of his presidential bid in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. July 19, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo)

Rapper Kanye West has now sparked a new wave of controversy after accusing director Quentin Tarantino and actor Jamie Foxx of stealing his idea for the 2012 hit film Django Unchained.

Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, West explained that he had pitched the idea originally as the basis for the music video for his 2005 hit song "Gold Digger," on which he worked with Foxx. 

"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," Kanye explained.

"Gold Digger" and Django Unchained have no resemblance

The released version of the music video for "Gold Digger" does not resemble the plot of Django Unchained.

Released in 2005, the song, an undeniable hit that has since been certified octuple platinum, had a music video of West and Foxx along with pin-up girls and other women, with a lot of dancing.

By contrast, the plot of Django Unchained is very different. This film, released in 2016 starring Foxx as the titular Django and Christoph Waltz as the German bounty hunter who frees him from slavery, is a historical revisionism revenge film where a freed slave saves his wife and kills racist slave-owning plantation owners.

The film was also an undisputable hit and was nominated for and won a number of awards and accolades throughout the industry.

That wasn't all Kanye West had to say about the film. Rather than bringing up the idea behind it, the rapper used it as an example of free speech. As he explained, Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the film's villain Calvin Candie, uses racial slurs throughout the movie, as is part of his character, a racist slave owner in the 1800s. However, West noted, not once is DiCaprio ever considered racist.

It should be noted that Tarantino, an acclaimed film director with numerous hits to his name and who now resides in Israel, has in the past come under some criticism for his usage of racial slurs in his films. However, he has defended his use and has others supporting him, most famously longtime collaborator Samuel L. Jackson as well as Jamie Foxx himself.

Foxx and Tarantino have both not yet commented on West's remarks.

Kanye West and the controversy

Kanye West, who also goes by Ye, is one of the most successful musicians in history but has become embroiled in controversy following numerous antisemitic and right-wing remarks.

This has seen him barred from many social media platforms and has cost him some business deals, such as with Balenciaga. However, he remains active and has since been doing the rounds on interviews. 

In the same interview with Piers Morgan, West got into an argument with Morgan, accusing him of being a "Karen" and "canceling him."

During the interview, West tries to justify his antisemitic comments by saying that no one knows the pain that Black people went through during the Civil War. "One form of racism doesn't justify another," Morgan exclaimed while West tried to cut in.

"I was in a position where I've been hurt and this is the way I had the right to express myself," West fired back. "The point of this interview is for you to question me and then for me to answer and say, 'Okay, even though the same rules are not applied to my people, if a person with a gun or drugs is pulled over and has three or four other people in the car, they're all going to jail.'

"I'm not going to apply that to Jewish people for the sake of this conversation. Isn't that what you wanted? But you know what you did? You tried to 'Civil Rights' me," Kanye said.

After arguing back and forth, West asked Morgan, "How much are you worth?" Morgan then replied, "Not as much as you."

West fired back at Morgan by telling him to take his advice rather than the other way around. 

When asked if he was sorry for any of his antisemitic comments, West said "no. Absolutely not," though did say he was sorry for the people he hurt.

Kanye did, however, apologize for some things, most notably the remarks he made about George Floyd, where he said he thought Floyd died of fentanyl and not from police officer Derek Chauvin's knee being pressed against his neck for over nine minutes