In the midst of Quentin Tarantino’s media tour to promote the new release of his novel about 2019 Once upon a time in Hollywood, the director stopped by Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast. During the June 29 interview, Tarantino was asked about criticisms of the film’s depiction of Bruce Lee – specifically a fight scene in which Brad Pitt’s character Cliff easily takes the character down. Lee, played by Mike Moh. Tarantino told Rogan: “I can understand his daughter’s having a problem with her – it’s her goddamn dad, I get it,” before quickly dismissing the others’ criticisms.
Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee, was among those who spoke out about the scene at the time of the film’s release. And, in response to a request for comment from The Hollywood Reporter regarding Tarantino’s comments to Rogan, wrote the column below regarding the director’s characterization in this scene and other comments about the real Bruce Lee.
Why does Quentin Tarantino speak as if he knows Bruce Lee and hates him? Seems odd since he’s never met Bruce Lee, doesn’t it? Not to mention Mr. Tarantino happily dressed the Bride in a fake yellow jumpsuit from my father and a Crazy 88s suit in a Kato mask and outfit for her. Kill Bill, which many consider as a love letter to Bruce Lee. But love letters often called out the recipient’s name, and from what I could observe at the time, Mr. Tarantino tried to avoid saying Bruce Lee’s name as much as possible at the time.
If only he took the name Bruce Lee off his lips now.
Now you can imagine that I’m used to people seeing only one side of my father and blowing it into a caricature. That happened shortly after his death. But usually, somewhere in that caricature lies some love for the man and his work. Not with Mr. Tarantino.
As you know, the portrait of Bruce Lee in Once upon a time in Hollywood by Mr. Tarantino, in my opinion, is incorrect and unnecessary to say the least. (Please don’t blame actor Mike Moh. He did what he could with what he was given.) And while I am grateful that Mr. Tarantino has generously admitted to Joe Rogan that I am can have his feelings about his portrayal of my father, I’m also grateful for the opportunity to express this: I’m really fed up with white men in Hollywood trying to tell me know who Bruce Lee is.
I’m tired of hearing white men in Hollywood say he’s arrogant and an asshole when they have no idea and can’t figure out what it might take to get the job in those days. 1960s and 70s Hollywood as a Chinese man with (God forbid) accent or to try to express an opinion on an assembly as foreigners and people of color. I’m tired of white Hollywood men mistaking his confidence, passion, and skills for arrogance and therefore seeing the need to marginalize him and his contributions. . I’m tired of white men in Hollywood finding it too hard to believe that Bruce Lee can be really good at what he’s done and might even know how to do it better than they do.
I’m tired of hearing white men in Hollywood say he’s not really a boxer and only does it for the movies. My father lives and breathes martial arts. He teaches martial arts, writes about martial arts, creates his own martial arts, innovates martial arts training, and refuses to participate in martial arts tournaments because he believes fighting should be “real.” economy”. He has no parallel as a boxer. And I don’t think it’s too hard to say that he’s no longer a boxer on film.
I’m tired of white men in Hollywood who barely notice his impact on action movies and fight choreography, or the rise and interest in martial arts he sparked. globally, or the number of people and communities he continues to inspire and touch with his performances, philosophies, teachings, and practices while casually downplaying his accomplishments. he’s lifted spirits and become a source of pride for Asian Americans, communities of color, and people around the world, and how he accomplished all of this at the age of 32.
And while we were there, I got tired of being told that he wasn’t American (he was born in San Francisco), that he wasn’t really friends with James Coburn, that he wasn’t. good stuntman, that he went around challenging people to fights on set, that my mother said in her book that my dad believed he could beat Muhammad Ali (no real), that all he wants is to be famous, and more.
And of course, this doesn’t apply to all of white men in Hollywood; I’ve worked with some really great collaborators and partners. But I’ve met enough of them over the years (and not just in Hollywood) who want to explain Bruce Lee to me and when and how to use Bruce Lee is right for them, without needing to be superfluous. acknowledge his humanity, his legacy or his family in the process where a bit of a model has emerged. Nor am I saying that no one is allowed to have a negative opinion about Bruce Lee. I say your opinion can be colored by personal or cultural bias, and that is a stereotype. Just notice the pattern in all the people Mr. Tarantino cites in the case he builds against my father. Just say…
And I understand that he died when I was 4 years old, but I am still one of the very few people on this planet other than my mother who has met and talked to most of the people who have ever known him (promoters and detractors), who read. his extensive writings on all topics, daily time span and his personal library who trained at Jeet Kune Do who has childhood memories of him him, and who knows what he loves. I think I have more authority over Bruce at this point than most people, not to mention have taken care of his legacy for the past 21 years.
Look, I understand what Mr. Tarantino is trying to do. I really do. Cliff Booth is such a villain and a murderer that he can defeat Bruce Lee. Personality development. I got it. I just think he can do it much better. But instead, the scene he creates is just an uninteresting display of Bruce tears when it’s not needed. It’s white Hollywood treating Bruce as much as white Hollywood treating him – as an integral stereotype. But it was Mr. Tarantino’s creative device that he chose, so he initially claimed, although now he seems to argue that this is indeed an accurate portrait of Bruce Lee and that it is. what if it was really Cliff Booth (a fictional person) and the real Bruce Lee (if he were a mediocre, arrogant boxer) were on equal footing. What is this?
The fact that Mr. Tarantino suggested that my father could easily be fooled by a fictional character and would only really be a threat in a competitive landscape like Madison Square Garden says a lot about all that he is. don’t know about Bruce Lee and JKD. But enough tit for tat.
Finally, at a time when Asian Americans are being physically attacked, told to “go home” because they are perceived as non-Americans, and demonized for something that has nothing to do with them, I Tarantino’s continued attacks, misjudgment, and misrepresentation of a pioneering and innovative member of our Asian-American community are, right now, unwelcome. welcome.
Mr. Tarantino, you don’t have to like Bruce Lee. I really don’t care if you like him or not. You’ve made your movie and now, obviously, you’re promoting a book. But in the interest of respecting other cultures and experiences that you may not understand, I encourage you to comment further on Bruce Lee and reconsider the impact of your words in a world. no need for more conflicts and fewer cultural heroes.
Under the sky, under heaven, we are one family, Mr. Tarantino, and I think it’s time for both of us to move on.
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