Bruce Lee's daughter says 'irresponsible' Quentin Tarantino damaged father's legacy

Jacob Stolworthy
·2-min read
 (Sony Pictures Releasing)
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

The daughter of Bruce Lee has torn into Quentin Tarantino for his depiction of her father in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Shannon Lee made her feelings known about the film when it was released in August 2019, but has now elaborated upon them in a new interview.

Lee, who at the time said she was “disheartened” to see the director write the legendary actor as “an arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air”, called Tarantino "irresponsible" for doing so.

As seen in the hit film, Lee challenges Brad Pitt’s stuntman character Cliff Booth to an on-set fight after Booth laughs at his brags that his hands are considered “lethal weapons”.

Lee argued that, rather than be arrogant on Hollywood sets, her father – as an Asian-American in the late 1960s – would have had to work far harder than Booth.

“He could have a temper sometimes, but he did not go around challenging people to fights," Lee told South China Morning Post.

"My father worked extremely hard and directly toward the idea of authentic representation in Hollywood for an Asian man, so I don’t think he would’ve gone around beating up stunt people and that kind of stuff as a way of furthering his cause."

She said that Tarantino’s decision to show her father in this light means that he treated him "the way white Hollywood [did] when he was alive".

Lee also said she was "disappointed" by Tarantino's response to her initial criticism of the scene.

“I tried to approach it from a cool, collected, and more calm, direct point of view, and I was very disappointed to see Quentin Tarantino’s response, which was to continue to say, 'Oh, Bruce Lee was arrogant, he was an a**hole,’ and to incorrectly cite my mother’s book as a defence of him," Lee said.

"I really thought it was irresponsible of him to do what he did and have that portrayal.”

Lee is currently promoting her new book, which is titled Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee.

Mike Moh played Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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