Quentin Tarantino is busy offering apologies this week. First, the Pulp Fiction director came under fire for putting actress Uma Thurman in what could have been a potentially deadly situation for the film, Kill Bill. Tarantino called his decision “the biggest regret of my life.” Now words he said in a 2003 interview have come back to haunt him, and the director has issued yet another apology, this one to Roman Polanski’s victim, Samantha Gailey (now Geimer).
In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Geimer. Polanski pled guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sex with a minor, but while awaiting sentencing, the director learned the judge was not going to give him probation as the deal indicated. Instead, Polanski would be sentenced to 50 years in prison so he left the country, escaping to France where he has dual citizenship. He has been a fugitive for over 40 years.
During Tarantino’s 2003 interview, which has recently resurfaced, Tarantino said Samantha was “down for it” when referring to her being raped. The Academy Award-winning director said that sex with a minor wasn’t rape.
“He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape…he had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word rape, you’re talking about violent, throwing them down — it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. You can’t throw the word rape around. It’s like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything people use it for.”
After the audio of the radio interview started circulating around the internet, Hollywood spoke out against Tarantino, which was perhaps the catalyst behind the director’s apology, which he issued via a statement to Indiewire.
“I want to publicly apologize to Samantha Geimer for my cavalier remarks on ‘The Howard Stern Show’ speculating about her and the crime that was committed against her. Fifteen years later, I realize how wrong I was. Ms. Geimer WAS raped by Roman Polanski. When Howard brought up Polanski, I incorrectly played devil’s advocate in the debate for the sake of being provocative. I didn’t take Ms. Geimer’s feelings into consideration and for that I am truly sorry.
“So, Ms. Geimer, I was ignorant, and insensitive, and above all, incorrect.
“I am sorry Samantha.
The director also called Samantha directly to offer an apology, and while Samantha said in 2016 that the media has done more damage to her than anything Polanski ever did, that doesn’t mean Tarantino will be let off the hook anytime soon. Sony Pictures has bought the rights to Tarantino’s next film, which focuses on the Charles Manson murders. One of Manson’s followers killed Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate. Undoubtedly, Polanski will be portrayed in the movie as potentially the grieving husband. Given the director’s defense of Polanski, more than a few people have been skeptical of the decision to greenlight this film. Judd Apatow summed up everyone’s thoughts in one tweet.
“Now Tarantino is going to make a movie about Polanski. Why is someone financing this?”
Sony Pictures has declined to comment, but being that the film was a $100 million deal, it would be a hard financial blow if the movie doesn’t go forward. If social media is anything to go by, some people would consider that a small price to pay to keep Roman Polanski off the big screen.