Bruce Lee’s daughter has criticised Quentin Tarantino after the director defended his depiction of the legendary martial arts star in his most recent film.
Shannon Lee said she was ‘really f*cking tired of white men in Hollywood trying to tell me who Bruce Lee was,’ after Tarantino refused to accept claims that he had unfairly portrayed Lee in Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.
Since the film’s 2019 release, critics have accused Tarantino of portraying the late star as arrogant and overrated in a scene where he loses in a fight to main character Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt. Shannon Lee had previously accused the director of making her father out to be an ‘arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air’.
The controversy came to a head this week after Tarantino hit back at the criticism during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, in which he claimed his version of Bruce Lee was rooted in reality.
‘I can understand his daughter having a problem with it, it’s her f*cking father, I get that,’ he said. ‘But anybody else? Go suck a d*ck.’
Shannon Lee has since responded to Tarantino’s latest comments, asking in an column published in the Hollywood Reporter, ‘Why does Quentin Tarantino speak like he knew Bruce Lee and hated him?’
Lee, who was four when her father passed away in 1973, goes on to say that Tarantino’s depiction of Bruce Lee fits with a ‘pattern’ of white filmmakers using him as a ‘dispensable stereotype’.
‘I’m tired of hearing from white men in Hollywood that he was arrogant and an asshole when they have no idea and cannot fathom what it might have taken to get work in 1960s and ’70s Hollywood as a Chinese man with (God forbid) an accent,’ she wrote. ‘I’m tired of white men in Hollywood finding it too challenging to believe that Bruce Lee might have really been good at what he did and maybe even knew how to do it better than them,’ Lee added.
Lee also pointed out that Tarantino’s comments come at a time of increasing levels of hate crime towards Asian Americans, writing, ‘I feel moved to suggest that Mr. Tarantino’s continued attacks, mischaracterizations and misrepresentations of a trailblazing and innovative member of our Asian American community, right now, are not welcome.’
Bruce Lee’s biographer, Matthew Polly, has also previously criticised Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood‘s portrayal of the martial artist, telling Esquire it was ‘not who Bruce Lee was as a person’.
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The Hollywood Reporter