Quentin Tarantino addresses backlash to Bruce Lee scene in ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’

"I can understand his daughter having a problem with it"

Quentin Tarantino has defended his portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

“I can understand his daughter having a problem with it. It’s her fucking father. Everyone else: go suck a dick,” the director said on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Tarantino had appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience to promote his novelisation of Once A Time In Hollywood.


During the conversation with Rogan, a scene involving Bruce Lee (played by Mike Moh) came into discussion. The scene, which involved Brad Pitt‘s character Cliff defeating a humiliated Lee in a fight, came under fire both from viewers and Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee.

After Tarantino called Lee “kind of an arrogant guy” at a press conference in Moscow, Shannon Lee said in response via Variety: “He could shut up about it. 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.’”

However, Tarantino has defended his decision to make Lee lose the fight again on the podcast.

“Cliff’s method is to give the guy the first fall,” he said. He went on to say that the scene emphasised that Pitt’s character to win through tricking Lee.


He added: “If Cliff fought Bruce Lee at a Madison Square Garden martial arts tournament, he would not stand a chance. But as a killer who has killed men before in a jungle, he would kill Bruce Lee.”

In addition to the novelisation of the film, Tarantino is planning a Once Upon A Time play before he will embark on his final movie.

“I wanted to write a play, and stuff that’s not in the book…I wanted it to exist as a play. And again, I’m able to explore stuff that’s not in the [movie]. The play deals with Italy,” the filmmaker told the Big Picture podcast.