Uma Thurman Speaks Out on Weinstein, Tarantino

[Content Note: Sexual harassment and assault; coercion; injury; strangulation.]

Three months ago, Uma Thurman, who worked closely with both Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino, was asked her thoughts on women in the film industry speaking out about sexual harassment and assault. She gave a cryptic but compelling answer, with a clenched jaw.

Female reporter, offscreen: In light of recent news, uh — Gwyneth has spoken out; Angelina has spoken out; you're such a powerful woman in film. What are your thoughts about speaking out about inappropriate behavior in the workplace?

Thurman: Umm. I think it's commendable. And, uhhh. [she pauses; looks as though she's choosing her words very carefully] I don't have a tidy soundbite for you. [glances directly into camera] Because, I have learned — I am not a child — and I have learned that, when I've spoken [clenches teeth] in anger, I usually regret the way I express myself. [takes breath] So I've been waiting to feel less angry. And when I'm ready, I'll say what I have to say. [nods firmly]

Reporter: Thank you so much.

Thurman: Thank you.
Uma Thurman is ready. And she said what she has to say to Maureen Dowd at the New York Times: "This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry." It is a lot to take in. There is a lot about Harvey Weinstein; there is even more about Quentin Tarantino, whose career is inextricably linked to Weinstein, and who evidently shares his contempt for women's agency and safety, though it manifests in different ways.

At least what we know of it. Which now includes a story of coercing Thurman to get behind the wheel of an unsafe car onset, which resulted in a crash in which she was injured, and video of which Tarantino refused to release to her for 15 years.

There is simply no way this man should be given exorbitant amounts of money and virtually unregulated power over women to continue to make films fetishizing sexual violence and torture.

Instead, he is being given precisely that to make his next film about the Manson murders, in which Roman Polanski will play a central character.

I couldn't make that up if I tried.

I take up space in solidarity with Uma Thurman. I am grateful for her voice, and for her anger.

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