"Ford was fond of telling how he played a bespectacled Klansman in The Birth of a Nation, fell off his horse, and woke up with Griffith bending over him. 'Are you all right, son?' 'I guess so.' Griffith called for some whiskey, Jack objected that he did not drink, and Griffith replied, 'It's for me." —Tag Gallagher, John Ford: The Man And His Films, University of California Press, 1988
"[A]s you may well know, director John Ford was one of the Klansmen in The Birth of a Nation,so I even speculate in the piece: Well, John Ford put on a Klan uniform for D.W. Griffith. What was that about? What did that take? He can't say he didn't know the material.[...] [H]e put on the Klan uniform. He got on the horse. He rode hard to black subjugation. As I'm writing this -- and he rode hard, and I'm sure the Klan hood was moving all over his head as he was riding and he was riding blind -- I'm thinking, wow. That probably was the case. How come no one's ever thought of that before?"—Quentin Tarantino, "Tarantino 'Unchained,' Part One: 'Django' Trilogy?", interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The Root, December 23, 2012
"[Ford] only became angry when [French critic Samuel Lachize] told him some people thought [wrongly, added Lachize] there were racist aspects in his work.
"'The people who say that are mad, insane. I'm a Northerner. I detest segregation and I've employed hundreds of blacks at the same wages as whites. I got the production companies to pay a tribe of Indians, who were starving, at the same rate as the highest paid Hollywood extras and I saved them. Racist, me? My best friends are blacks. Woody Strode and my servant who's lived with me for thirty years. I've even made a picture exalting the blacks...No. I'm not a racist.I consider the blacks as completely American.'
"He came back to the subject a number of times, and we had immense difficulty trying to calm him down."—Bertrand Tavernier, "John Ford à Paris," Positif, issue 82, March, 1967, translated by and cited in Gallagher, 1986.
"Tarantino has a point, but it's certainly a surprise to see him publicly attack a filmmaker who's so often named as one of the very greatest in the history of the medium. We certainly wouldn't dispute the points that Tarantino raises here, but we'd also perhaps suggest that Ford's views may have evolved over time; one of his final films, Cheyenne Autumn, was described by Ford as an 'elegy' to Native Americans, and something of an apologia for the way they'd been treated in his earlier pictures. We wonder what Spike Lee thinks of the whole thing..."—Oliver Lyttleton, "Quentin Tarantino Planning 'Inglousious Basterds' Spin-Off 'Killer Crow,' Says He "Hates" John Ford," The Playlist, December 27, 2012.