Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon has responded to Quentin Tarantino’s defence of the controversial scene in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, suggesting that he should apologise for his depiction of her father.
“He could shut up about it,” she said when asked by Variety how she thinks the director could rectify the situation. “That would be really nice. Or he could apologise or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.'”
Earlier this month, Tarantino responded to the Shannon’s suggestion that he had made her father come across as a “caricature” and “an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air”.
“Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” he told press in Moscow while publicising the film. “The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up. I heard him say things like that, to that effect. If people are saying, ‘Well he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali’… well yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that.”
In the scene in question, the actor, portrayed by Mike Moh, arrogantly tells a crowd that is hands are registered as lethal weapons, before getting in a fairly even fight with ageing stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). An early iteration of the scene had Booth winning the fight, but Pitt allegedly intervened and levelled the playing field.
“[Tarantino] can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did,” Shannon said. “But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, ‘Well, this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it.’”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is out NOW