Logan Kenny’s review published on Letterboxd:
on the Howard Stern show, the date of which I'm not certain of, Quentin Tarantino appeared as a guest and was questioned about comments he'd made regarding Roman Polanski, in particular him being very happy that Polanski had won Best Director at the Oscars decades after fleeing the country due to being convicted for raping a 13 year old girl. over the course of an 8 minute segment on YouTube, Tarantino says a multitude of heinous things that made me have to physically stop the video several times in order to be able to keep myself stable. I don't want anyone else to have to hear this clip, hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he blames a child for her rape, and defends the middle aged man for violating her in the way that he did, so I will detail some of the content that's in it.
He starts off saying that it wasn't really rape, that rape is a buzzword thrown around too often, and that he when he hears rape, he only sees it as violent aggressive penetration, everything else is something different, not rape, and follows that up with the quote " Throwing the word rape around is like throwing the word racist around, it doesn't apply to everything people use it for" which is very fitting considering some of some of the criticisms of his work for being racially insensitive and downright offensive.
He follows that up by saying that the raped 13 year old girl "wanted" Polanski to sedate her with drugs and alcohol and then rape her and that she was "down with it". The way he says this is so callous and upbeat, like he's passionately describing a movie scene he's made, he believes the words he's spouting with fervour.
after facing extremely justified outrage from Stern and the other people on the show, he defends himself and Polanski by saying that the girl felt pressured to say that he raped her by her mother, so her mother wouldn't be mad at her for having sex with a grown man and that's why her testimony, back when it happened, can't be used as viable evidence to suggest that Polanski raped the girl, instead Tarantino believes that a 40 year old man had consensual sex with a 13 year old girl. his source for this? Polanski's book, and when faced with the absolutely essential question "why do you believe Polanski's version instead of the girl's" he responds with "Polanski's version sounds more believable." There are so many things wrong with this, number one being that he believes that a little girl can consent to a grown man having sex with her, that a literal small child can consent to that from someone who should be protecting her. Number two is that he believes the man over the little girl with physical evidence that he had sex with her, because his version of events seems more likely, because a rapist convicted of assaulting a child who fled the country to avoid jail time is the person who you trust in this situation, not the little girl who got abused. There was no evidence to support Polanski's claims, there was to support hers and even if the sides are equal, which it's impossible for them to be since she was 13 years old, it takes a person with such little compassion to prioritise the accused rapist over a victimised child, it takes a truly despicable piece of shit to do that.
Then we come to his follow up, immediately after that previous point, these are his words exactly and they are the most repulsive things I've heard in a truly long time, and I felt a deep lingering feeling of sickness and anger within me when I heard his insufferable voice spout these vile, monstrous syllables. "I don't believe it's rape, not for these 13 year old party girls."
I don't believe it's rape, not for these 13 year old party girls. I don't understand how you can say those words, how you can not only suggest that someone being at a party and getting drunk and high, coercion or no, makes being raped their fault which is loathsome enough, but for a child, for children who can't consent to drugs or alcohol being handed to them by adults, who can't consent to any form of sexual activity, and he sits there in his chair, laughing about those children, those children who are abused, who had their whole lives changed irrevocably because of a monster of a man, and you blame them with a smile. How do you say those words?
The interview goes on, he reiterates several of the expressed points before saying that him masturbating at age 13 means that kids that age have sexual maturity and therefore can be fucked by 40 year old men and have it be consensual, which is staggeringly inane and also seismically offensive, which is a large proportion of this interview. What disturbs me most about this, about him is the tone, the way he says it, I mentioned it a couple times but the way those words pour out of his mouth, the way he springs to defences and laughs and exacerbates his heinous points suggests that he doesn't just think that this girl is to blame, he enjoys blaming her, he enjoys dehumanising her because he has the power to. He looks at this 13 year old girl's testimony and scoffs and believes her assaulter, cause it doesn't matter to him, all that matters is the filmmaker he loves and the power he holds. The Uma Thurman revelations were one thing, and proved him to be a deeply unsafe filmmaker and one who shouldn't be trusted to work on any set for the rest of his life, but this cements him as an irredeemable piece of shit. I don't understand how anyone can have this little empathy or how anyone can dehumanise a raped child like this.
Another few things to mention about this movie, considering that Polanski is featuring in it and his comments do not suggest impartiality. Tarantino's gonna exploit Sharon Tate's death in several ways, his filmmaking style is sensationalist and appalling, he loves historical revisionism and exacting his brand of lurid shite on historical situations without a grasp on context, with basterds it worked somewhat because nazis, here and in django the situation is much more complex, and sensationalist violence with no depth or understanding is not the type of filmmaking that should apply to a cult leader and the victims he had murdered, plus there's the release date thing which will certainly become part of the advertising, releasing the film on the anniversary of her murder, making her death mean nothing but a source of profitability for Tarantino and his studio of choice and making that decision alone is irresponsible. He'll humanise Polanski, which you shouldn't do, not with history being the way it is, making a film is inherently political and giving a side of empathy towards someone who would go on to rape a 13 year old is not okay, you can tell the story without making him sympathetic, it's a conscious decision he made to even include the man, and since this footage came out, I don't have any expectations that aren't cataclysmic. But also a project idolising or at least fetishising the effect of Manson continues to strengthen his name and influence, instead of remembering the victims, being more invested in the cultural violence and terror than the personal loss is a sign that this man is not suited to make this movie. add to the fact that he's irresponsible and egotistical on set, causing his lead actress to become permanently injured due to a dangerous stunt, frequently racist as shown by his copious use of the n word and his fetishisation of black bodies being whipped and tortured in his motion pictures and the comments he made here, show that he's a piece of shit. I urge you to not pay money to see this when it comes out, he doesn't deserve it, and like it or not, you are involved with the choice between supporting the artist. If you go see this movie, you ignore what he's said, what he's done and what the impact of the content of this will continue to do to Sharon Tate and the other Manson victims' legacy. If you want to see it so badly, that you're willing to put all of this aside, wait three months and there will be an HD copy on your computer for you to watch, there's no moral hesitation for me about stealing from someone who defends pedophila so aggressively, and I genuinely believe that we have a responsibility to not let this continue. I don't care if you keep watching his old movies, they mean a lot to a lot of people and if you can continue to experience them without his actions tainting their productions, then go ahead, but don't support this, don't support him anymore, you have that choice.