We’re watching Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film and his love letter to the olden days of the industry. This film was not without controversy, particularly over Bruce Lee’s portrayal in the film. Via Esquire:
Seemingly by the day, we’re seeing new people speak out about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s now-biggest controversy—Quentin Tarantino’s depiction of the late martial arts legend, Bruce Lee.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen Lee’s daughter, Shannon, combat the portrayal of her father as feisty and fight-happy, telling The Wrap, “It was really uncomfortable to sit in the theater and listen to people laugh at my father.” To which Tarantino argued that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a fictional movie and should be treated as such. And on Wednesday, Shannon Lee said Tarantino “could just shut up about it.”
Add one more voice to the mix: NBA all-timer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a scathing op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter today about the situation. Abdul-Jabbar met Lee and became close with him when he was a UCLA student—even starring in the unfinished martial arts film, The Game of Death, together. In the op-ed, Abdul-Jabbar comes in pretty hot, arguing that any depiction of a real-life person—however outrageous it is—leaves a lasting impression of them in our culture.