It would be easy to say that director Quentin Tarantino ruined a perfectly good speech with one word, but that isn't even true. In addition to his inexplicable use of the word "ghetto," Tarantino's speech — on behalf of the absent composer Ennio Morricone — was factually wrong to boot.
Here's what "The Hateful Eight" director said while accepting the Golden Globe for best original score on behalf of Morricone:
Wow, this is really cool. Do you realize that Ennio Morricone, who, as far as I am concerned, is my favorite composer ‑‑ and when I say "favorite composer," I don't mean movie composer, that ghetto. I'm talking about Mozart. I'm talking about Beethoven. I'm talking about Schubert. That's who I'm talking about. And Ennio Morricone has never won an award for any one individual movie that he has done. He has in Italy, but not in America. And this is, I know, not America. It's the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. But I have to say… that I directed the movie that the great Ennio Morricone at 87 years of age did an original score for and won the Golden Globe. For Ennio and his wife, I say thank you, and grazie, grazie.
Where do we even start? As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, this is actually the third time Morricone has won a Golden Globe Award, so Tarantino's claim that "Morricone has never won an award for any one individual movie" is false. The composer also has a Grammy and several ASCAP Awards under his belt. A number of people called Tarantino out for his error on social media, but it was his use of the word "ghetto" that really got attention.
Actor Jamie Foxx, who starred in Tarantino's 2012 film "Django Unchained" subtly called the director out for his weird use of the word.
It's an especially tone-deaf flub for the director, who has been criticized for years about his use of racially-charged language, specifically the n-word — Gawker estimates that the word was used 65 times in "The Hateful Eight" alone. But even amid a long-running discussion about how "ghetto" has lost its original meaning and become a lazy pejorative, it's hard to decipher exactly what Tarantino meant in the context of music in film.
But perhaps we're all analyzing this a bit too much. Given the laid-back atmosphere of the Golden Globes ceremony (Ricky Gervais was nursing a beer on stage for most of the night, after all) perhaps there's a much simpler explanation.