Let’s just lay it all out on the table and say it: Quentin Tarantino defended statutory rape with a 13-year-old. He defended it in no uncertain terms. In fact, in this 2003 interview with Howard Stern, he went waaaaaaaay beyond the “no uncertain terms” category.
In fact, there is no way to report what exactly Tarantino said in that interview, defending Roman Polanski, in a way that doesn’t sound 150% worse than actually hearing Tarantino say it himself in the audio (below):
**UPDATE: The YouTube video has just been pulled, so check out the transcript in the linked article!**
He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape…he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down—it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.
…so says the guy who feels it’s OK for him to keep using the n-word because Sam Jackson did it.
Tarantino also refers to “13-year-old party girls,” seems to believe that “European morality” as a whole is cool with adults having sex with adolescents, and that the victim in the Roman Polanski rape case, who was a minor at the time, “wanted to have it.”
The director at one point also accused Stern—Howard Stern, the star of the home video release “Butt Bongo Fiesta”—of being too conservative in his beliefs.
Here is what I think…
It has been my personal experience that people who go the extra mile to justify things like having sex with minors usually have one or two or three or 17 skeletons in their own closet. Not saying at all that this is the case with Quentin Tarantino…I’m just talking about in general, based on observation.
That said—and I’m not defending Tarantino here—many many many actors and actresses have publicly defended Polanski! It’s a systemic problem that goes beyond Tarantino. It’s the result of living intensely in this constantly enabling bubble.
A Tarantino “Manson” movie would still be interesting, in my opinion…at least, in a cringey cultural anthropological/”what-the-fuck-is-going-on-in-his-deranged-cranium” sort of way. Would we get more Polanski apologia? Would the Sharon Tate death scene be tastefully shot? And would the director himself tighten the noose around Margot Robbie’s neck—you know, for the “realism” because he’s an auteur?
But as for Quentin Tarantino doing a “Star Trek” project…yikes. No.