Quentin Tarantino Is an Abusive, Disgusting Person

[Content Note: Violence; abuse; rape apologia.]

You may recall that in January 10th's We Resist thread, I linked to a piece at Deadline by Mike Fleming Jr, in which he wrote that he was giving space to the actor Michael Douglas, who'd been accused of sexual harassment, to get ahead of the allegations because: "The accusation story will most likely follow elsewhere, but in this moment of 'she said, he said' trial by journalism, it was never specified whose version had to be first. So here, Douglas states his case."

Fleming is carving quite the niche for himself, as he's now given space to Quentin Tarantino to tell "his side" of the story told by Uma Thurman. Explains Fleming this time: "I offered Tarantino the opportunity to clarify because at this moment, stories get written and then picked up across the globe, often getting twisted to suit convenient narratives in this #MeToo moment."

That Fleming believes stories women tell about being harassed and/or assaulted by men are shaped into narratives that are "convenient" for anyone pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the dude's motives, as does the fact that he doesn't believe that it's a legitimately "convenient narrative" for Tarantino to argue, at distressing length, that the reason he needs to personally spit on and choke the women in his movies because otherwise it won't look authentic.

That's exactly what a "convenient narrative" to excuse assault under the auspices of auteurism looks like.

In sum: Quentin Tarantino gave an interview designed to discredit Uma Thurman, to a man with an apparent agenda to discredit all women who are speaking out against men in the film industry. And the interview was published under the headline: "Quentin Tarantino Explains Everything: Uma Thurman, the Kill Bill Crash, & Harvey Weinstein."

Uma Thurman told her story, but now Tarantino "explains everything," the implication being that Thurman's account cannot be trusted.

The thing is, a careful reading of Tarantino's account confirms that he is indeed the abusive manipulator he has been alleged to be.

Tarantino claims, for instance, that he didn't have to bully Thurman into the driving stunt which ultimately resulted in an injurious crash:
I start hearing from the production manager, Bennett Walsh, that Uma is trepidatious about doing the driving shot. None of us ever considered it a stunt. It was just driving. None of us looked at it as a stunt. Maybe we should have, but we didn't. I'm sure when it was brought up to me, that I rolled my eyes and was irritated. But I'm sure I wasn't in a rage and I wasn't livid. I didn't go barging into Uma's trailer, screaming at her to get into the car. I can imagine maybe rolling my eyes and thinking, we spent all this money taking this stick shift Karmann Ghia and changing the transmission, just for this shot.
He pointedly notes that he "wasn't in a rage" and "wasn't livid" and didn't scream at her. Which, of course, is not what Thurman alleged. What she said was: "Quentin came in my trailer and didn't like to hear no, like any director. 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.'" Tarantino, in Thurman's telling, "persuaded her to do it."

Which is exactly what Tarantino admits, after he creates the strawman of his flying into a rage, only to knock that strawman down. In fact, he repeatedly states that he used charm, not anger, to coerce her into driving the car. As Thurman said, he persuaded her — and he did it by exploiting the fact that she trusted him.

He is so delighted with how he convinced her to do something she explicitly said she did not want to do, something that ultimately resulted in her being seriously injured, that he boasts about how he did it, over and over:
Anyone who knows Uma knows that going into her trailer, and screaming at her to do something is not the way to get her to do something. That's a bad tactic and I'd been shooting the movie with her for an entire year by this time. I would never react to her this way.

...Far from me being mad, livid and angry, I was all…smiley. I said, Oh, Uma, it's just fine. You can totally do this. It's just a straight line, that's all it is. You get in the car at [point] number one, and drive to number two and you're all good.

...I came in there all happy telling her she could totally do it, it was a straight line, you will have no problem. Uma's response was…"Okay." Because she believed me. Because she trusted me. I told her it would be okay. I told her the road was a straight line. I told her it would be safe. And it wasn't. I was wrong. I didn't force her into the car. She got into it because she trusted me. And she believed me.

So, it's decided she would get in the car.
He is literally just bragging about being such a savvy manipulator that he didn't even have to "force her."

This is not an apology. It the slavering confession of an abuser who delights in hurting women.

* * *

What we now know about Quentin Tarantino — in addition to the fact that he has made a career out of making films inordinately preoccupied with sexual violence and torture, in which he has himself played a rapist twice — is that he:

1. Has choked two actresses onscreen (Uma Thurman and Diane Kruger), and spit on one of them (Thurman) as well.

2. Convinced Thurman to get into a car against her will, in which she was ultimately hurt, and now says of the horrendous footage he finally gave her after 15 years: "See, all that is old news. I saw the footage when I found it. Seeing it in the article didn't do anything."

3. Is making a film about the Manson murders, in which Roman Polanski will play a central character.

4. Once defended Polanski's rape of a 13-year-old girl, on a 2003 episode of the Howard Stern Show.
Asked by Stern why Hollywood embraces "this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old," Tarantino replied:
"He didn't rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape...he had sex with a minor. That's not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you're talking about violent, throwing them down—it's like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can't throw the word rape around. It's like throwing the word 'racist' around. It doesn't apply to everything people use it for."
Reminded by Robin Quivers that Polanski's victim—who had been plied with quaaludes and alcohol before her assault—did not want to have sex with Polanski, Tarantino became riled up.
Tarantino: No, that was not the case AT ALL. She wanted to have it and dated the guy and—

Quivers: She was 13!

Tarantino: And by the way, we're talking about America's morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.

Stern: Wait a minute. If you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you're a grown man, you know that that's wrong.

Quivers: ...giving her booze and pills...

Tarantino: Look, she was down with this.
We have now a very clear picture of who Quentin Tarantino is. He is an abusive, disgusting person. A dangerous person.

And to anyone who would argue that we shouldn't cancel Tarantino just for the art he makes or the opinions he holds, because, after all, he hasn't hurt anyone, I would remind them that he sure as fuck has.

image of Uma Thuman in a blue Karman Ghia just after she has run into a tree; she lies limp in the driver's seat, with her arms loosely reaching upward
I felt this searing pain and thought, 'Oh my god, I'm never going to walk again.'

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