Just as Vice President Joe Biden is culling information from Hollywood heavyweights in an attempt to deliver some viable gun control solutions and compromises to President Obama, word spreads about Quentin Tarantino’s outburst on the topic during an interview with Britain’s Channel 4.
“I’m shutting your butt down,” he tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy during a video interview about his film Django Unchained. Guru-Murthy tries multiple times to break into the subject of gun violence with Tarantino, who’s said throughout his career that he sees no connection between movies and real life violence, and who recently told NPR’s Terry Gross it was “disrespectful to [the victims’] memories” when he was asked about movie violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.
At first, Tarantino seems mildly annoyed, responding to Guru-Murthy’s questions about violence with sarcasm: “It’s like asking Judd Apatow why he makes comedies.” But when the subject of Jamie Foxx’s recent comments to the AP, in which he stated that movies do influence real life violence, Tarantino became enraged and told the interviewer to “talk to Jamie Foxx about that.”
But was Tarantino throwing a fit over nothing? As the shouting match continues, Tarantino makes the point that he’s offered his opinion on the issue time and again and that if people want to know what he thinks, “they can Google me.” “I’m not biting … I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune,” he said, following it up with the sentence no reporter wants to hear: “This [interview] is a commercial for my movie, make no mistake.” And no matter who you are, it’s rather hard to complete an interview after a statement like that.
Still, Guru-Murthy recovers and finishes the interview timidly. But should he have had to back down? Should Tarantino answer for the violence in his movies? Or has he said enough?
Of course, we should keep in mind that this a man whose explosive nature is what makes his movies so beloved. Perhaps fielding the same question in interview after interview while his movie is already stirring up racial controversy isn’t the most unlikely catalyst for a public outburst...
Watch the full interview below.
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[Photo Credit: Wenn]
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The Pulp Fiction moviemaker is in the U.K. for the London premiere of his latest film Django Unchained on Thursday evening, and ahead of the screening he agreed to an interview with a TV crew from Channel 4 News.
Respected broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy sat down in a studio with Tarantino for the eight-minute long chat, but the conversation became heated when he asked the director why he is so adamant violence in movies is not to blame for real-life killings.
Tarantino fumed, "I'm not going to tell you why I'm so sure. Don't ask me a question like that, I'm not biting. I refuse your question... I'm not your slave and you are not my master. You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey."
As Guru-Murthy attempted to quote from a recent interview with Jamie Foxx, who takes the lead role in Django Unchained, Tarantino became visibly annoyed and cut in, saying, "Then you should talk to Jamie Foxx about that, and I think he is actually here so you can... I don't want to (talk about it) because I am here to sell my film. This (interview) is a commercial for my movie, make no mistake... I don't want to talk about what you want to talk about, I don't want to talk about the implications of violence. The reason I don't want to talk about it is because I have said everything I have to say about it... And I am shutting your butt down."
Asked why he believes there is no correlation between movie violence and real-life massacres, Tarantino exploded, shouting: "It's none of your damn business what I think about that... I'm saying no, and I'm shutting you down... I don't have any responsibility to you to explain anything I don't want to...
"I've explained this many times in 20 years but I just refuse to repeat myself over and over again because you want me to - for you and your show and your ratings."
The moviemaker recently attacked critics who are blaming bloody blockbusters for the recent Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, insisting such comments are disrespectful to the victims.
Growing frustrated on the subject of violence in movies in a recent NPR interview, Tarantino raged, "I'm really annoyed. I think it's disrespectful... to the memory... of the people who died to talk about movies. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health."
Tarantino's latest film, blood-soaked, shoot-em-up slave drama Django Unchained was released just days after the Newtown massacre, during which 20 children were killed.
The issue of gun control is a heated topic ordinarily — a tragedy like the shooting in Aurora, Colo., will only serve to augment the controversy surrounding the American's citizen's right to own and carry firearms. In the wake of the shooting, several celebrities have vocalized promotion of stricter gun control laws. But a few stars are taking the opposite approach: rapper/actor Ice-T defended gun rights in a discussion with Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 London.
Ice-T illustrated the following philosophy to Guru-Murthy, courtesy of Mediaite: "The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police."
The Law & Order: SVU star also expressed that guns are not to blame for violence: "If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it ... You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time."
However, Ice-T's following statement seems to imply admission that there is an element of danger inherent in the presence of firearms: "I'll give up my guns when everybody else does. Would you want to be the only one without one?"
As stated above, Ice-T may be in the minority when it comes to pro-gun celebrities. The past several days have provoked a variety of figures to come out in favor of gun control. On Saturday, Seinfeld star Jason Alexander tweeted the following message:
I cannot understand support for legality of the kind of weapon in this massacre. It's a military weapon.why should it be in non- mil hands?— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) July 21, 2012On Monday, Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter published this message on TwitLonger, expressing his support for stricter gun control laws.
The issue will always be a controversial one, and gun-related tragedies only serve to breed the disputes. The fortunate thing, as indicated by this sort of public back and forth, is that we live in a country wherein free discussion and debate is not only permitted, but is actually expected of its citizens. It doesn't matter to what degree two sides might disagree — nothing but progress can come from peaceful debate.
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb]
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