I want my favorite filmmakers to do better.
To say that I’m a fan of Quentin Tarantino seems like an understatement. I’ve seen all of his films many times, read articles about him, and spent Monday listening to nearly seven hours of podcast content about the man that was released that morning.
I think Tarantino is one of our greatest living filmmakers. He’s always done more for Hollywood and American directors than probably Spielberg and Scorsese, and has become the voice of obsessed film nerds everywhere.
After entering the spotlight as a writer and then a director, Tarantino took over the film world, growing in popularity, and making films that were never missed. Many of his hits in the 90s and early 2000s were backed by Harvey Weinstein, the boss of Miramax and then the Weinstein Company. He was a Hollywood mogul who was ubiquitous with yelling, cursing, and lewd behavior.
Weinstein’s crimes were dismissed as eccentric by his inner circle because he brought home gold statues and possessed a lot of power. But when its accusers found their voice in the #MeToo movement and more and more brave women came forward, much of Hollywood had to put up with the fact that they had been Frankenstein and that Harvey was their monster.
Weinstein lost his court battle and was sent to jail. After that, the raging water stopped, and Hollywood calmed down in his absence, though no one really came to Jesus to talk about what they were doing to get Weinstein to a place where he thought he was invincible.
When Tarantino spoke in on the subject The New York Times In 2017 he said he was “shocked and appalled”.
While I don’t think anyone should be held accountable for what Weinstein did behind closed doors, a lot of people had to get thoughtful about what it meant to work with him and make sure he stayed in power. And we have to see how much support Weinsten has received to harm and abuse these people for so long. If there were accomplices, they should be exterminated.
But aside from the people who did it directly, we also have to deal with the people who heard things and brushed things aside.
Admittedly, Tarantino was one of those people. Again and again he brought his projects to Weinstein. They were an inseparable duo when it came to making films. People wanted to know who knows what, of course.
But that topic got lost as a topic of conversation when Tarantino released another masterpiece film. Once upon a time in Hollywood, an eerily forward-looking story that spoke about the hopes and dreams of Hollywood icons who were never quite in the spotlight and would be remembered for tragedy. Tarantino used this film to rewrite history and see these people shine. It was a breathtaking view of the Hollywood star. While the film was made in 1969, it could easily have played today. And about the careers Weinstein castrated behind closed doors when sexual favors were not granted and advances were brushed away instead of Charles Manson.
All of this brings us to a current one result of the Joe Rogan experience that Tarantino occurred to the Romanization of. to promote Once upon a time in Hollywood. As he sat on the interview leader, Rogan did something few had done since Tarantino spoke to the New York Times. He urged him about his relationship with Weinstein and what happened.
You can see what Tarantino said below.
For those of you who skipped the clip, I’ll wrap it up briefly.
Tarantino told Rogan that “everyone” knew about Weinstein’s behavior and described him as a “fucked up father figure”. He went on, “I wish I had done more” to intervene. “I wish I had spoken to the guy” and “I wish I had sat him down and had the awkward conversation.”
To clarify, Tarantino said: “I didn’t know anything about rape or anything like that … I chalked it up to the boss who chased the secretary around the desk. He made unwanted advances. That’s how I saw it.”
Finally, Tarantino said, “I wish I had sat him down and said, ‘Harvey, you can’t do this, you’re going to screw it all up'” and “I don’t think anyone talked to him about it.”
In a moment of self-absolution, Tarantino added, “Everyone in its orbit knew about it” and claimed that they “probably” did not know about rape … but they had heard things.
There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’m sure I won’t be the most eloquent person writing on the subject. But I felt like we couldn’t have a website about Hollywood careers and tips without addressing them.
Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers, but he missed the mark here. The reason people like Weinstein gained so much power in Hollywood wasn’t because of their taste, or because people liked them, because they were able to operate with fear. There was a real fear that if you cross it, you might end your career or your publication.
That fear was allowed to build up because culture made it okay for a Hollywood guy to be the person who “chases a secretary around a desk.” That’s still a problem, but it was part of the internalized casting couch lore of old Hollywood. But it’s not okay for anyone to do that. We have known that for a long time. And yet it was called old school.
Things shouldn’t have to turn into massive sexual assault for people to say something. If Hollywood is to atone for its sins and people regret having done nothing, they need to stop putting aside the fact that they did not know that something horrible was going on. They just knew something bad.
There are no excuses for either behavior.
Another thing I wish Tarantino would say about the victims. All of his conversation was designed in such a way that he could have saved and stopped Harvey, the producer who gave him his dreams. In the heat of the moment, he might not have thought, but damn Weinstein. The people who needed someone like Tarantino to help were Weinstein’s victims.
I don’t want Tarantino to change the past, but I can say that as men in Hollywood we are responsible for making the change and having these conversations. Tarantino could have made films with anyone else in the industry, if he’d known Weinstein was a bad guy, he didn’t have to go back. When you have power, as Tarantino eventually achieved, you have to make sure that power is used wisely. You need to be willing to go the extra mile to create a safe and inclusive environment for those around you. Don’t just use this service to put the finishing touches to your films.
Hollywood can only get better if you not only count on the past, but also demand noticeable changes for the future. That’s the statement I want to hear, not on a little blog on the internet, but from my favorite filmmakers. I want to hear them come out and say what they can do now, not what they didn’t do then. And then I want to see how they do it.
We talk a lot about “showing, not telling”.
So show me something