In the October issue of Playboy, the Pulp Fiction star offered up a stinging critique of the commander in chief's speaking style in front of black audiences, which he says are part of an attempt to sound like "Joe Average."
"First of all, we know it ain't because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to 'relate.' Be a leader. Be f—king presidential," the 64-year-old Jackson griped to the magazine. "Look, I grew up in a society where I could say 'It ain't' or 'What it be' to my friends. But when I'm out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family who cared about me, who has a well-read background, I f—king conjugate."
In the wide-ranging interview, Jackson also opened up about the substance abuse that plagued him during the 1980s and the lack of success that saw him take bit parts in TV and movies as he watched many of his colleagues like Wesley Snipes ascend the Hollywood ranks.
After a family intervention in 1990, the actor went to rehab after which his career took off when he played a crackhead in pal Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. The part earned him critical raves and an award at the Cannes Film Festival and he's been sober ever since—a fact of life that is just fine by him.
"What's it been now, 22 years or something?" Jackson wondered. "There's all kinds of s--t in my house that I've never tasted in my life, like Cristal—stuff I couldn't afford back when I was drinking. All I'd have to do is walk in the closet, open a beer and no one would know, but I know that I probably wouldn't stop at one beer. So I drink nonalcoholic beer. I'm not looking for the kick."
On the ongoing feud between two of his most famous collaborators, Jackson said that while filming Lee's most recent flick, Oldboy, he never directly discussed with Spike the latter's criticism of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, which saw the bald-pated thespian play "the most hated Negro character in cinema history."
"Spike saying, 'I'm not going to see Django because it's an insult to my ancestors'? It's fine if you think that, but then you have nothing else to say about the movie, period, because you don't know if Quentin insulted your ancestors or not," added Jackson, who noted that unlike Lee other leaders in the African-American community, such as Louis Farrakhan and Dick Gregory, embraced the slave epic.
To read Jackson's full interview, visit Playboy.com.