Quentin Tarantino has brushed off criticism of the racially-charged language used in his latest movie Django Unchained, insisting the script reflects the reality of the time period.
The Western, which stars Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, is set in slavery-era Mississippi in 1858 but the repeated use of the N-word has caused some controversy.
Stars including fellow director Spike Lee have taken aim at Tarantino for his choice of words, with the moviemaker telling Vibe.com, "I am not going to see it (the film). I am not seeing it. It would be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film."
He added in a post on his Twitter.com page, "American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a Holocaust. My ancestors are slaves. Stolen from Africa. I will honour them."
However, Tarantino argues that history is on his side when it comes to the sensitive topic of slavery.
He tells MTV News, "I think it's kind of ridiculous (the criticism), because no one can actually say with a straight face that we use the word more than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi. So since they can't say that, what they're basically (saying) is I should lie. I should pretty it up. I should lie, and I don't lie when it comes to my characters and the stories I tell."