Last month, in conversation with Bret Easton Ellis for T magazine, Quentin Tarantino discussed Ava DuVernay, saying, “She did a really good job on Selma but Selma deserved an Emmy.” Tarantino later clarified that he’d never actually seen Selma, and that his comments weren’t meant to be a slight but rather a comparison to a TV movie of a different era. Nearly two months later, DuVernay has deemed his quote worthy of a response. She tells THR, “I was surprised by how surprised everyone was. When you look at his work and his persona, there’s nothing surprising about what he said. But it didn’t bother me like so many assumed it would.” That is expert shade. Let’s examine.
1. The response time.
Most people would have clapped back on Twitter immediately, but by responding to Tarantino’s comments nearly two months later, DuVernay’s statement might as well have begun with, “Oh, I’d forgotten about this already. Who’s Quentin again?” This is the definition of unbothered.
2. She called Tarantino’s character into question.
Saying “I was surprised by how surprised everyone was” means that y’all should’ve expected this type of comment from Tarantino.
3. She dragged his films.
“When you look at his work …” Oops. Which film would that be? Obviously, if Tarantino cared about how other people interpret his use of language, Django would’ve had 4,000 fewer N-words.
4. She dragged him in.
“… and his persona.” Enough said.
5. She really does not care what he thinks.
“But it didn’t bother me like so many assumed it would” goes a step further than “It didn’t bother me.” Adding on “like so many assumed it would” means that, yes, she knows people were talking about her and expecting her to react, but she is busy, and everyone else overreacted. You know what, Vivica Fox? Maybe DuVernay should’ve been Black Mamba.