With everything that has happened in 2020, I don’t understand holding a grudge against a writer-director for a fictional portrayal of martial arts legend, Bruce Lee. Yeah, even if he’s your dad.
Blood is thicker than water, we know the cliche.
We all could learn in these troubled times — certainly myself included — the art of forgiveness. Like water when a pebble is dropped in the ripples eventually fade and calm is restored.
Wrote about this when the film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ⭐️⭐️⭐️ came out, and was puzzled at the time (see: Controversial Bruce Lee Portrayal In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – Tarantino Says He Won’t Recut Film For China). A year later and still, Shannon Lee is going on about it.
I get it, Bruce Lee was made to look like an “asshole” (their words, not mine) in the film and your father wasn’t like that. He was also mistreated in Hollywood as were many minorities at the time, and that is disgusting and wrong, but Tarantino wasn’t trying to make you relive it. That was then, and believe me, Hollywood these days is trying to make up for it in a wide variety of ways (see: OBVIOUS: Oscars Best Picture New Diversity Requirements Continue Receiving Criticism)
“There were so many other creative ways he could have made the Cliff Booth character look cool in that film,” Lee continued. “So many other ways he could’ve treated the Bruce Lee character that would’ve got the same plot point across without having to essentially treatBruce Lee the way white Hollywood treated my father when he was alive.”Bruce Lee’s Daughter: Tarantino Created Negative Views About My Father | IndieWire
It’s a movie. A movie, Ms. Lee. It’s not a biopic or documentary. I think in this context Tarantino has creative freedom to portray whomever he wants however he wants, even if it’s an inaccurate portrayal of a real life legend. Fiction applies to real life characters.
He didn’t just do that with Bruce Lee, look what he did with the grisly Sharon Tate murders!
I also realize Tarantino doubled down during the skirmish and really does seem to think Bruce Lee was a jerk and misquoted something in Linda Lee Cadwell’s book to drive home his point. Tarantino doesn’t like Bruce Lee, I guess, which is puzzling, because Bruce Lee did more to advance martial arts as well as bringing martial arts to America than any other Asian-American person in Hollywood at the time. He is celebrated by the vast majority of people on earth. It’s OK if not everybody likes him, too. Might not make much sense, but hey.
There is also a case of shining the light on a film that you think hurt how Bruce Lee was portrayed. Why not focus on your book? Or the ESPN 30 for 30 Be Water documentary? Why bring up the movie that, IMO, wasn’t that great a movie anyway. His 9th film was a middle of the road fare to me. It didn’t exactly break the box office and China got its revenge for the Bruce Lee portrayal for refusing to screen it.
Somebody else will make another movie with Bruce Lee in it, maybe Shannon and her family will be involved somehow (please not a remake, however, see: Should Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon ever be remade?), and that will be the Bruce Lee that strokes the zeitgeist.
And then another movie. And another. Bruce Lee will not be framed by other people’s movies. What he did in his life and his short movie career is what he will be remembered most for.
The concept of negatively promoting one thing to promote another is well worn territory on the internet, especially on social media. That’s what’s really going on here and you’ll notice it also was intentional that I didn’t mention her book (the bait wasn’t taken, sorry).
Let’s keep it real: Bruce Lee’s legendary status wasn’t even scratched by his fictional portrayal in Tarantino’s movie. Tarantino could have had Cliff Booth kill him and then take a piss on his head and it still wouldn’t have changed what the vast majority of people on earth think of Bruce Lee.