One of the sentiments that has been repeated when talking about the recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein has been, “Well gosh, I had no idea.” The women who have come forward with their stories definitely knew about the alleged creepiness that was going on. Well, so did Harvey’s good buddy Quentin Tarantino. Quentin saw something, and he didn’t say something, and he’s really sorry about that.
Quentin and Harvey have worked together for 25 years, starting with Reservoir Dogs. All of Quentin’s following eight films have been distributed by either Miramax or The Weinstein Company (Death Proof was distributed by Dimension Films, which is owned by The Weinstein Company). His next film, about the Manson Family murders, was being produced by TWC.
After The New York Times exposed Harvey to the masses, Quentin spoke about the situation via Twitter messenger Amber Tamblyn. Quentin said he was “stunned and heartbroken about the revelations” that had come to light, and that he needed some time to process his “pain, anger, and memory” before speaking fully. Quentin has clearly done processing, because yesterday, The New York Times published his thoughts. Quentin feels “ashamed” that he was aware of what was going on.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he said, citing several episodes involving prominent actresses. “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.”
One of the prominent actresses to have spoken out recently has been Mira Sorvino. Mira started dating Quentin shortly after her alleged encounter with Harvey in 1995. Quentin says Mira told him about what had happened and brushed it off as Harvey being “infatuated” with her. He also figured it was over once Harvey realized that Quentin was her boyfriend.
Another actress told a similar story to him. When Quentin confronted Harvey about it, Quentin says he gave a “weak apology.” Quentin also admits he was very aware that Rose McGowan had settled a sexual harassment case against Harvey for $100,000. Quentin admits he failed to recognize that the accusations might be a larger pattern of sexual abuse. He knows it doesn’t look good that he continued to make films with Harvey, a man he says he felt like he had a “father-son closeness” with.
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now….[Hollywood has been] operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated. We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was.”
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he recalled, saying he wrote them off as mild misbehavior. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
Quentin then urged other men in the industry to speak up about the mistreatment of women in Hollywood. If only Quentin could use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Harvey helped him make to buy a time machine and deliver that suggestion to his younger self.
The New York Times asked Quentin if he thinks his film legacy might be tarnished by his years of keeping silent about Harvey. Quentin says: “I don’t know. I hope it doesn’t.” Oh, don’t worry Quentin. If you haven’t lost people because of the shit you’ve said, then I’m sure it won’t matter to some about the shit you didn’t say.