If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Director Quentin Tarantino, possibly the most excellent talent that dishonored movie mogul Harvey Weinstein launched to success in the 1990s, is finally being frank in his stating about the allegations for Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women. The director’s confession that though he knew some of the producer’s behavior, he didn’t take any additional action to prevent it was a complete surprise.
In an interview with The New York Times, Tarantino stated that he should have offered his help when he heard the rumors about Weinstein and his work behind closed doors.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he admitted. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
“I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
Most of the Hollywood’s A-listers that cooperated with Weinstein, such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and George Clooney, have refuted the allegations about his behavior. The trustworthiness of their statements was severely examined since more and more evidence and testimonies came forward revealing that Weinstein’s behavior was not only an “open secret,” but, as one screenwriter eloquently put it, “everybody-f***ing knew.” The actor Ben Affleck was called a liar by one of Weinstein’s accuser, Rose McGowan right after he refuted the allegations about Weinstein.
One of the reasons that Tarantino could not possibly take the “I had no idea” route is because he had a relationship with the actress Mira Sorvino, another one of Weinstein’s accusers. As Tarantino claims, Sorvino as well as other actresses did warn him about Weinstein’s unwelcome advances. Tarantino also was acquainted with the fact that actress Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with the producer.
With so much knowledge, why did Tarantino work with the man for over 20 years?
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he recalled. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
Tarantino called out those who have denied ever knowing, saying, “Everyone who was close to Harvey had heard of at least one of those incidents. It was impossible they didn’t.”
Back when he and Mira Sorvino dated, Tarantino thought Harvey had become too “infatuated with her” and “horribly crossed the line” due to that. After he thought the problem was resolved, Tarantino figured that Harvey would leave Sorvino alone, unaware that he was habitual in his abuse.
More from The New York Times:
Over the years, he learned of other accounts. Another actress friend told him a disturbing story of unwanted advances by Mr. Weinstein in a hotel room. Mr. Tarantino confronted Mr. Weinstein, who offered the woman what the director described as a weak apology. (She confirmed the account to The Times but declined to be identified.)
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” Tarantino said. “As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino is now calling upon all industry insiders to create a better environment for women to liberate them from “an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated.”
Tarantino also wants other men to fess up about what they knew. “I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.”