By Madeleine Davies | 5 February 2018
JEZEBEL — In October of 2017, director Quentin Tarantino spoke out about his longtime collaborator Harvey Weinstein and the mounting accusations of sexual assault against him, telling the New York Times, “I knew enough to do more than I did. There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
If you were being generous, you could chalk this up to refreshing honesty from one of America’s most beloved auteurs, but — as Uma Thurman recently told the Times — you’d be mistaken to do so. In a recent Maureen Dowd op-ed, Thurman describes Tarantino as a volatile manipulator who not only ignored Weinstein’s behavior, but also sided against her following her own assault at Weinstein’s hands. Things turned, she said, on the set of the Kill Bill movies during a scene in which Tarantino demanded she do her own stunts.
She says she insisted that she didn’t feel comfortable operating the car and would prefer a stunt person to do it. Producers say they do not recall her objecting.
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she says. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’” He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.” (Tarantino did not respond to requests for comment.)
Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me. What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point. I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother. But at least I had some say, you know?
That Tarantino’s apologia is disingenuous in the era of #MeToo could come as a surprise if you’re unfamiliar with the director’s love of depicting women having the shit kicked out of them on camera or if you’re unfamiliar with interviews he’s done in the past. Like, for example, this 2003 Howard Stern interview submitted to us by a reader in which he adamantly defends Roman Polanski’s sexual assault of a 13-year-old in 1977. […]