Quentin Tarantino Blasted By Bruce Lee’s Representatives Over Media Comments
In the aftermath of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s release, Quentin Tarantino has found himself in fresh controversy yet again, with his treatment of martial arts legend Bruce Lee evoking strong response from Lee’s family and the arts fraternity. Lee’s character is shown to ooze arrogance, and also gets ruffled up during a fight with Brad Pitt’s character, in a questionable recreation of 60’s Hollywood.
Tarantino, like every other filmmaker takes creative liberties to build on characterization, but its his comments in the media that have cast doubts over his intentions. Tarantino seemed to justify his move to portray Bruce Lee with shades of baseless accusations, that have no evidence of any sort, and seem to be born out of the filmmaker’s misunderstanding of Bruce Lee’s biography.
It’s believed that both Brad Pitt and stunt coordinator Robert Alonzo convinced Tarantino to trim the sequence, which would originally end at Pitt’s character (Cliff Booth) defeating Lee, and tarnishing Lee’s image to prove Cliff’s mettle was deemed wrong.
While movie geeks were busy building theories on why Tarantino’s mistreatment of Bruce Lee was a clever exaggeration to tie the latter to the director’s perspective of the 60s, Tarantino himself said the following at a press conference in Moscow, “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy.
The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up. I heard him say things like that, to that effect. If people are saying, ‘Well, he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali.’ Well, yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that”.
These comments followed a sharp response from Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee. “He could shut up about it,” Shannon said. “That would be really nice. Or he could apologize, or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was’”.
She added, “One of the things that’s troubling in his response is that, on the one hand, he wants to put this forward as fact, and on the other hand, he wants to stay in fiction. Tarantino can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did. But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, ‘Well, this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it’.
On further inspection, it has been found that Linda Lee’s biography never claimed to have said Bruce Lee could’ve beaten Muhammad Ali, but rather quoted a critic who proposed the idea in praise of Bruce Lee’s unmatched determination and strength. So, it’s not surprising why Tarantino’s ignorant comments have left a foul impact on Lee’s kin. Here’s to hoping the filmmaker acknowledges these concerns humbly.