"It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theatre and listen to people laugh at my father"
Bruce’s Lee’s daughter Shannon has hit out at Quentin Tarantino for the portrayal of her father in his new film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Tarantino’s ninth film came out in the US at the weekend, and fans have been reacting to a number of scenes in the hotly-anticipated movie.
- Read more: Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’: release date, trailer, cast, plot and everything you need to know
Talking about a specific scene in the film where her father’s character challenges Cliff Booth (portrayed by Brad Pitt) to a fight, who ends up winning it, Shannon said that the film plays into racial stereotypes.
“Here, he’s the one with all the puffery and he’s the one challenging Brad Pitt, which is not how he was,” she told The Wrap.
“[Bruce Lee] comes across as an arrogant asshole who was full of hot air, and not someone who had to fight triple as hard as any of those people did to accomplish what was naturally given to so many others. It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theatre and listen to people laugh at my father.”
She goes on to say that she’s interested in showing “who Bruce Lee was as a human being”.
“All of that was flushed down the toilet in this portrayal,” she said, “and made my father into this arrogant punching bag.”
“I can understand all the reasoning behind what is portrayed in the movie. I understand that the two [lead] characters are antiheroes, and this is sort of like a rage fantasy of what would happen … and they’re portraying a period that clearly had a lot of racism and exclusion. I understand they want to make the Brad Pitt character this super-badass who could beat up Bruce Lee.
“But they didn’t need to treat him in the way that white Hollywood did when he was alive,” she added. “What I’m interested in is raising the consciousness of who Bruce Lee was as a human being and how he lived his life. All of that was flushed down the toilet in this portrayal, and made my father into this arrogant punching bag.”
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood comes out in the UK on August 16.