Quentin Tarantino Admits He Hasn't Seen 'Selma,' Says He Wasn't Trying to 'Slam' Ava Duvernay

by John Boone 2:26 PM PDT, October 15, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino isn’t apologizing, but he does want to clear a few things up.

The director ended up in hot water this week after seemingly dissing Ava Duvernay in an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine. While discussing Duvernay’s Selma and how it was all but snubbed at last year’s Oscars, Tarantino said, “She did a really good job on Selma, but Selma deserved an Emmy.”

ET caught up with DuVernay on Wednesday night at the premiere for OWN's new Belief series and asked her about Tarantino's remarks, and the director was diplomatic. "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion," she said. "All good."

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Photo: Paramount Pictures

Now, in an email to IndieWire, Tarantino claims that quote about Selma is “wrong.” “I never saw Selma,” he writes. “If you look at the article, it was [interviewer] Bret [Easton Ellis] who was talking about Selma, not me.”

“I did say the line ‘it deserved a Emmy,’” he admits. “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.”

There are a few things that still seem odd here: First, Tarantino is a movie buff. The fact that he says he knows so little about Selma -- a Best Picture nominee -- seems out of character. Especially because he said Duvernay did a good job. (Or was that quote wrong too? Maybe it was, “She did a really good job on Selma?”) Secondly, because the Django Unchained director does seem to know enough about Selma -- that, to him, it looks like “a seventies TV movie,” etcetera -- to know that it was a movie theater movie.

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Tarantino goes on to explain:

“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,” he concludes. “Does it play like one, I don't know, I haven't seen it.”

Whatever, Duvernay is BFF with Oprah. Here’s what she says that’s like: