Uma Thurman's story about Quentin Tarantino adds another layer to the #MeToo conversation

Uma Thurman's story about Quentin Tarantino adds another layer to the #MeToo conversation
From Mashable - February 3, 2018

After The New York Times published Uma Thurman's #MeToo account on Saturday, one person dominated the coverageHarvey Weinstein.

But the actress recounted two stories of abuse in the Times piece, one featuring Harvey Weinstein and the other, Quentin Tarantino. Only the Weinstein story featured sexual assault and misconduct, which is why only one would be classified as a traditional #MeToo story.

The allegations against Tarantino are harder to classify. They do not involve sexual assault or harassment or anything that could be neatly categorized as sexual misconduct. But both stories, however distant from one another they may seem, involve an abuse of power that feels both gendered and familiar, adding a whole other layer of complexity to the increasingly intricate #MeToo conversation.

In the piece (which is worth a full, make-it-to-the-end read), Thurman alleges that Tarantino compromised her physical safety while on the set of Kill Bill. For one particular stunt, Tarantino asked Thurman, who is not an stunt actor, to drive a blue convertible that had recently been refitted with an automatic transmission. According to the actress, a teamster had told her the car might not be operating that well.

Thurman expressed her concerns to Tarantino and asked that a stunt person drive the car instead. She shared what she remembers of Tarantino's response with the Times:

"He was furious because Id cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: I promise you the car is fine. Its a straight piece of road." In the end, he persuaded her to do it.

Thurman crashed the car while shooting the scene, leaving crew members to pull her from the wreckage. She said the incident left her with permanent damage to both her neck and her knees.

Thurman pressed Tarantino for 15 years before he agreed to show her footage of the incident. But her description of his behavior on the day of the crash was just one example of a recurring pattern: She said the director also personally performed some of the film's more sadistic stunts, including spitting in her face and choking her.

It's hard to know to how to characterize Tarantino's alleged behavior without minimizing it or making it something it's not. This is not sexual abuse. It's not physical assault.


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