Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon condemns Quentin Tarantino’s ‘uninteresting tear-down’ of her father

Director has drawn criticism for his portrayal of the iconic actor and martial artist in his film ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Ellie Harrison
Monday 05 July 2021 08:13
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Quentin Tarantino defends saying Bruce Lee was arrogant

Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon has doubled down on her criticism of Quentin Tarantino, saying she is “really f***ing tired of white men in Hollywood” telling her who her father was.

In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Shannon wrote that Tarantino “has no idea and cannot fathom what it might have taken to get work in 1960s and 1970s Hollywood as a Chinese man with (God forbid) an accent”.

She added: “I’m tired of white men in Hollywood mistaking his confidence, passion, and skill for hubris and therefore finding it necessary to marginalise him and his contributions.

“I’m tired of white men in Hollywood finding it too challenging to believe that Bruce Lee might have really been good at what he did and maybe even knew how to do it better than them.”

Shannon, an actor, martial artist and businesswoman, had previously criticised Tarantino’s depiction of her father in the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, calling it “disrespectful” and “a mockery” of his legacy.

In the film, Lee (Mike Moh) is offended when Brad Pitt’s character Cliff mocks him for thinking he could beat Muhammad Ali in a fight. Lee then challenges Cliff to a fight, during which Cliff throws Lee into a car, humiliating him.

Shannon wrote in her new piece: “Look, I understand what Mr Tarantino was trying to do. I really do. Cliff Booth is such a badass and a killer that he can beat the crap out of Bruce Lee. Character development. I get it. I just think he could have done it so much better. But instead, the scene he created was just an uninteresting tear-down of Bruce Lee when it didn’t need to be. It was white Hollywood treating Bruce Lee as, well, white Hollywood treated him – as a dispensable stereotype.”

She added that in a time when Asian Americans “are being physically attacked, told to ‘go home’ because they are seen as not American... I feel moved to suggest that Mr Tarantino’s continued attacks, mischaracterisations and misrepresentations of a trailblazing and innovative member of our Asian American community, right now, are not welcome”.

Tarantino has previously defended himself by claiming that "Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy”. He recently said of the criticism: “I can understand his daughter having a problem with it. It’s her f***ing father. Everyone else: go suck a d***.”

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