For a guy who drugged and raped a 13 year old kid, then fled the United States to avoid punishment for it, Hollywood director Roman Polanski sure seems to get a lot of love from his colleagues.
And while Meryl Streep is often a favorite to throw into the “they knew” column as an example, one who is often overlooked is Kill Bill and Reservoir Dogs director Quentin Tarantino. Thanks to the internet, we can now see how Tarantino views Polanski’s rape, and to say he sympathizes with Polanski is a massive understatement.
According to Jezebel, Tarantino straight up told Howard Stern in 2003 that what Polanski did wasn’t at all rape, and that the 13-year-old even WANTED to be drugged and penetrated:
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.”
The conversation continued with Stern and his co-host attempting to get Tarantino to see the light, but to little avail.
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.
Jezebel recounts Tarantino’s treatment of Uma Thurman during the filming of Kill Bill as well, which involves Tarantino forcing Thurman to perform a a dangerous vehicular stunt in a car Thurman knew to be unsafe.
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” said Thurman. “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.”
Thurman came out the other end of the stunt with various injuries, and years later posted footage from the stunt.“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me,” she said. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
And this was all on the back of Thurman suffering her own sexual assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.
Tarantino calls forcing Thurman to do the stunt “biggest regret of my life.” Maybe, but his defense of Polanski drugging and raping a kid is beyond horrid, and I get the feeling that’ll soon be one of his biggest regrets too.
Though that may not be the case. Hollywood seems to care little about sexual assault. Sure they put on black dresses, wear pins, and go ham on their awards shows on those who have so far been accused, but what do they change?
The answer to that is “nothing.” If they did care, they wouldn’t include people like Hillary Clinton as one of them, and for obvious reasons. But they do. Tarantino’s views as they were displayed in 03′ aren’t too surprising. I imagine they would be the same now, though Tarantino would claim differently due to the current cultural climate.