Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal went public, a string of public figures have come out to slam the producer for years of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct. Actresses, actors, filmmakers and all manner of individuals from the entertainment industry have had their say, yet many have anticipated the reaction of Quentin Tarantino.
The iconic director would request the services of Weinstein to help his career with the 1994 classic Pulp Fiction, a title that was produced by The Weinstein Company. Now having been accused of rape and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Tarantino sat down for an in-depth interview with The New York Times to recall his knowledge about the man many years prior.
Tarantino: Harvey Kept Crossing The Line and We Turned a Blind Eye
What would make this discussion all the more interesting with Tarantino was the profile of the interviewer - Jodi Kantor. It was her expose that blew the story wide open this year and for the director, this was a painful admission to make on his own behalf.
"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. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him."
With screenwriter Scott Rosenberg penning an impassioned Facebook post this week to argue that everyone in Hollywood knew about his deeds, Tarantino could not reconcile his own silence.
"What I did was marginalize the incidents. Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse. Everyone who was close to Harvey had heard of at least one of those incidents. It was impossible they didn't."
The filmmaker would be dating Oscar winner Mira Sorvino during the mid 90s and even her own account of an uncomfortable encounter was not enough to force Tarantino into action.
"I was shocked and appalled (back then). I couldn't believe he would do that so openly. I was like: 'Really? Really?' But the thing I thought then, at the time, was that he was particularly hung up on Mira. I thought Harvey was hung up on her in this Svengali kind of way. Because he was infatuated with her, he horribly crossed the line."
QT: This is Our Line in the Sand Moment
While Weinstein's acts of disgust and cruelty went unpunished for so long, Tarantino wanted to use this scandal as a means to enact change. What it would finally take for sexual harassers to be exposed was simple - men calling out their own.
"We're operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated," he remarked. "We allowed it to exist because that's the way it was. 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. What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness."
Source: The New York Times