Quentin Tarantino is facing a backlash over a resurfaced recording of him saying that Roman Polanski having sex with a 13-year-old was "not rape".
In a 2003 interview with Howard Stern, the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill director is heard saying he does not consider Polanski a rapist.
It comes following Uma Thurman’s criticism of the way Tarantino subjected her to a dangerous stunt on the set of Kill Bill.
In the interview with Stern, Tarantino says of Polanski: He didn’t rape a 13-year-old girl. 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.
The interview was republished by the website Jezebel, and is now being shared on social media.
This is just horrible – Quentin Tarantino is literally the worst, wrote Guardian columnist Melissa Silverstein.
Others said Tarantino’s comments were reflective of Hollywood’s mentality towards sexual abuse and abuse of power.
In the interview, Stern is heard contesting Tarantino’s view of the Polanski case, which saw the French-Polish director accused and convicted of the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1978.
Wait a minute. If you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you’re a grown man, you know that that’s wrong, Stern said.
No, that was not the case at all. She wanted to have it and dated the guy, Tarantino said.
She was down with it, and she’s talking it about now she’s an adult. The criminality was the technicality of her being 13.
Tarantino then adds he accepts the act was illegal and that if he had a 13-year-old daughter, he would beat the hell out of any man who had sex with her.