Famed Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino says he knew about the sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein and regrets not doing more.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino said Wednesday in an interview with The New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual assault was brought to light earlier this month in articles by The New York Times and The New Yorker that rocked Hollywood. After the exposés were published, a flood of women in the industry shared their own stories of unwanted advances from the movie producer, including Rose McGowan and Mira Sorvino. Tarantino said he knew about both.
The director was dating Sorvino in 1995 when she told him about her encounter with Weinstein, The Times reported. He said he was “shocked and appalled,” when he first heard.
“I couldn’t believe he would do that so openly. I was like: ‘Really? Really?'” But he said he thought that because he was dating Sorvino, the issue was resolved.
“I’m with her, he knows that, he won’t mess with her, he knows that she’s my girlfriend,” he said he thought of Weinstein at the time.
In The New Yorker article, Sorvino said Weinstein, “started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.” She reportedly left the hotel room after saying it went against her faith to date married men.
Despite hearing story after story through the years, Tarantino said he didn’t consider the big picture and continued to make movies with Weinstein, The Times said.
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” he said. “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
Some of the stories were rumors, Tarantino said. But others were reportedly from women who came to him directly and he wished he’d “taken responsibility for what” he’d heard back then.
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he said. “As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino described Hollywood as “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated.”
“We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was,” he said.
But moving forward, he said that kind of behavior can no longer go on and men needed “to do better by our sisters,” The Times reported.
But despite their history of making movies together, Tarantino said he doesn’t know why Weinstein did what he did, but that it was time for him to “face the music.”