Following Uma Thurman’s accusations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino is now facing the heat for putting the actress in physical peril during the shoot of Kill Bill in Mexico. The revenge saga was released in two parts in 2003 and 2004.
In a New York Times report published on Saturday, Thurman detailed how Weinstein tried to sexually assault her and then threatened to sabotage her career. She also spoke of how Tarantino, with whom Thurman and Weinstein shared a creative and professional partnership, brushed off her allegations against the powerful producer.
What also made Tarantino the other villain of the story was his decision to force Thurman into driving a convertible on her own rather than using a stunt double despite her reservations for a scene in Kill Bill. Thurman had been warned that the car might not be working properly. As she drove the vehicle, it drifted off the road and hit a palm tree. In a video produced by a camera attached to the back of the car, it is revealed that Thurman was stuck for some time before the crew arrived to rescue her.
Thurman tried to obtain the footage from the production company Miramax Pictures, headed by Weinstein. Miramax allegedly wanted Thurman to sign an undertaking that she would absolve the company from the consequences of her experience, but she refused. Thurman got her hands on the video 15 years later, and it was posted along with her New York Times interview.
Twitter has been ablaze with rage against Tarantino for putting Thurman in a harmful situation, with Hollywood personalities such as Judd Apatow and one of the prime accusers in the Weinstein scandal, Asia Argento, weighing in.
What has also put Tarantino in a spot is Thurman’s revelation that for a scene in Kill Bill, the director stepped in to spit on her face (Michael Madsen’s character Budd is seen doing it in the film). Tarantino also choked Thurman with a chain in the sequence involving Chiaki Kuriyama’s Gogo character.
In 2009, Diane Kruger alleged that Tarantino had choked her during the shoot of Inglourious Basterds because the director felt that the assigned actor wasn’t doing it right.
The new revelations have helped resurface Kill Bill actress Daryl Hannah’s claim that Weinstein sexually harassed her. Hannah had reportedly informed Tarantino about the assault, which took place during the Italian premiere of Kill Bill: Volume 2, but he ignored it. Tarantino had previously expressed regret that he was aware of Weinstein’s behaviour with women, but did nothing to stop him.
Tarantino’s ultraviolent cinema, in which insult and injury do not spare women, has been criticised over the years. Thurman’s account has re-ignited debates around the level of violence and profanity in his movies, especially against black characters.