Director Quentin Tarantino broke an extended silence Thursday on the sexual harassment and assault allegations surrounding his longtime friend and collaborator Harvey Weinstein, telling the New York Times he knew about the accusations and could have done more to prevent them.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino, who rose to fame in the early 90s with a string of Miramax-produced indie films including Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, told the Times in an interview. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
Tarantino mentioned several specific allegations he said he’d heard about Weinstein long before the Times first broke the story about decades of accusations against the movie mogul last week. The director said he’d heard about incidents with actress Mira Sorvino, whom Tarantino dated in the 90s, in which Weinstein allegedly massaged her against her will in a hotel room and once showed up at her apartment in the middle of the night.
Tarantino said his attitude at the time was that once he started dating Sorvino, Weinstein would respect it and leave her alone.
Tarantino also said he knew that actress Rose McGowan had reached a settlement with Weinstein over sexual misconduct claims.
“Everyone who was close to Harvey had heard of at least one of those incidents,” he told the paper. “It was impossible they didn’t.”
Tarantino, whose later films including the Kill Bill series, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained were also distributed by Weinstein said he knew about incidents involving other actresses as well.
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he told the paper. “As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino also issued a broad indictment of Hollywood’s treatment of women in general, saying the industry had been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated.”
“I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark. Vow to do better by our sisters.”
Read Tarantino’s full interview with the Times here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum