Quentin Tarantino and producer Harvey Weinstein have leapt to the defence of The Hateful Eight, after the Pulp Fiction filmmaker’s new film was accused of misogyny.
In Tarantino’s gruesome and gory western, which has been well-received by critics and currently has a 76 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there are several scenes that see Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Daisy Domergue repeatedly smacked in the face and abused by the other characters in the film. This includes Domergue being hit by an elbow, having stew thrown in her face, and even having a gun smacked across the back of her skull.
This has led some viewers to criticise The Hateful Eight, and accuse it of misogyny. The Hateful Eight’s writer and director, Quentin Tarantino, has insisted that all of this abuse to Domergue, and the reaction that it then provokes from audiences, is all by design.
Speaking to Variety, Quentin Tarantino explained, “When John Ruth [Kurt Russell] cracks her over the head that very first time, you feel this ripple going through the audience – because it almost does seem like one of the last taboos left. You’re supposed to say, ‘Oh my God. John Ruth is a brutal b******!’ That is what you’re supposed to say. I want your allegiances, to one degree or the other, to shift slightly as the movie goes on, and frankly, depending on where you’re coming from.”
Tarantino wasn’t the only member of The Hateful Eight’s creative team to defend the film against calls of misogyny. Harvey Weinstein, who owns The Weinstein Company, the studio that financed and produced The Hateful Eight, also came out and stated that Tarantino’s previous films prove that he is far from misogynistic.
In a recent interview, Weinstein insisted, “This guy is the most pro-woman ever. Uma Thurman, Pam Grier, Melanie Laurent, and Diane Kruger. If there are cries of misogyny, we will sit down and make them watch Jackie Brown, and at the end of the Jackie Brown seminar, they will have to say, ‘Hey, we’re just fishing for stupidity.'”
Jennifer Jason Leigh, who stars as Domergue in the film, has also insisted that she was never once concerned about the treatment of her character, and never saw it as misogynistic. Describing the character, Leigh explained, “She’s a leader. And she’s tough. And she’s hateful and a survivor and scrappy. I thought it was funny, but I didn’t think it was misogynistic for a second. [Tarantino] doesn’t have an ounce of misogyny in him. It’s not in his writing. It’s not in his being.”
She added, “Quentin writes the best parts for women out there. He really does. He writes very brave, bold, insane, fabulous women. Nobody writes women like he does.”
The Hateful Eight was recently leaked online after a screener for the film got into the wrong hands. According to The Independent, in the days ahead of its Christmas Day release, The Hateful Eight was downloaded over 300,000 times because of the leak.
This doesn’t seem to have effected The Hateful Eight’s box office return though, because on its first day of release the eighth film from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown, director took in $1.9 million. It’s been predicted that The Hateful Eight will take in around $5 million on its opening weekend, despite being on a limited release.
[Image via The Weinstein Company]