Tags: Abdul Jabar | bruce Lee | Tarantino | racism | holywood

Kareem Abdul-Jabar: Depiction of Bruce Lee in Film 'Racist,' 'Sloppy'

kareem abdul jabbar attends the espy awards
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 18 August 2019 08:21 AM

Retired NBA legend-turned-actor and writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has blasted the depiction of martial arts icon Bruce Lee in the Quentin Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” calling it “sloppy” and “racist.”

In an opinion piece for The Hollywood Reporter, Abdul-Jabbar outlines why the film is both inaccurate and disrespectful of his “friend and teacher.”

“Filmmakers have a responsibility when playing with people’s perceptions of admired historic people to maintain a basic truth about the content of their character,” Abdul-Jabar wrote, adding: “Of course, Tarantino has the artistic right to portray Bruce any way he wants. But to do so in such a sloppy and somewhat racist way is a failure both as an artist and as a human being.”

“The John Wayne machismo attitude of Cliff (Brad Pitt), an aging stuntman who defeats the arrogant, uppity Chinese guy harks back to the very stereotypes Bruce was trying to dismantle,” he wrote. “Of course the blond, white beefcake American can beat your fancy Asian chopsocky dude because that foreign crap doesn’t fly here.”

“I might even go along with the skewered version of Bruce if that wasn’t the only significant scene with him, if we’d also seen a glimpse of his other traits, of his struggle to be taken seriously in Hollywood. Alas, he was just another Hey Boy prop to the scene. The scene is complicated by being presented as a flashback, but in a way that could suggest the stuntman’s memory is cartoonishly biased in his favor.”

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Retired NBA legend-turned-actor and writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has blasted the depiction of martial arts icon Bruce Lee in the Quentin Tarantino film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," calling it "sloppy" and "racist."In an opinion piece for The Hollywood Reporter,...
Abdul Jabar, bruce Lee, Tarantino, racism, holywood
271
2019-21-18
Sunday, 18 August 2019 08:21 AM
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