It's been one hellacious week for Hollywood's formerly favorite director Quentin Tarantino, who finds himself increasingly the target of his peers' #MeToo-inspired antipathy, including fellow director/producer Judd Apatow and A-list actress Jessica Chastain.
Though Tarantino's problems began months ago with the flood of allegations against his long-time business partner Harvey Weinstein, the floodgates really opened this Saturday with the publication of a New York Times article by Maureen Dowd detailing Uma Thurman's account of her alleged assault at the hands of Weinstein, about which she informed Tarantino, and the alleged cover-up of a serious accident Thurman suffered on the set of "Kill Bill" after the director convinced her to do her own stunt driving. Dowd also mentioned that Tarantino insisted on performing some of the more sadistic shots himself, including choking Thurman with a chain and spitting in her face. Pressure on the director ratcheted up even more with the re-emergence of audio of his 2003 interview with Howard Stern in which Tarantino downplayed Roman Polanski's rape of a 13-year-old.
Among the big names that have blasted Tarantino is Apatow, who took to Twitter to level another #MeToo-related accusation against his fellow director and noted that Tarantino is slated to direct a film that features Roman Polanski as a character.
"Tarantino also ignored Daryl Hannah’s complaints when she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein. They kicked her off the press tour. Nobody helped her," wrote Apatow. "And now Tarantino is going to make a movie about Polanski. Why is someone financing this? This is why Weinstein wasn’t stopped."
Adding her name to the list of those condemning Tarantino's various actions is Jessica Chastain, who has been vocal in the #MeToo movement.
"I keep imagining Tarantino spitting in Uma's face and strangling her with a chain for KILL BILL. How many images of women in media do we celebrate that showcase abuse? When did this become normalized 'entertainment'?" wrote Chastain, in a series of tweets in response to Dowd's article. "When violence against women is used as a plot device to make the characters stronger then we have a problem. It is not empowering to be beaten and raped, yet so many films make it their 'pheonix' moment for women. We don't need abuse in order to be powerful. We already are. Directors inserting themselves into a scene depicting abuse is crossing a boundary. How can an actor feel safe when your director is strangling you?"
Another famous name to slam Tarantino is original #MeToo warrior Rose McGowan, one of the accusers of Weinstein, who wrote about his alleged "foot fetish" in her new memoir "Brave":
Tarantino has a known foot fetish. That means Tarantino paid extra money to jerk off to my young feet and he told me about it loudly, over and over, for years in front of numerous people, as if I should be so thrilled that he donated his solid-motherf***ing-gold semen that is clearly better than all the other semen in the world, and he gave it up for little ol’ me?
As the Guardian notes, some industry members have defended Tarantino, including "Inglourious Basterds" actress Diane Kruger:
Both Tarantino and Thurman have responded to the pushback from the Dowd article. Tarantino provided a detailed account of the accident, which he said he regretted greatly, his response to learning about Weinstein's alleged assault of Thurman, and his rationale for performing some of the stunts himself.
After the publication of the Dowd article, Thurman posted a statement on Instagram defending Tarantino and accusing Weinstein of a "cover-up":