Over the weekend, Uma Thurman went public with accusations against Harvey Weinstein, which by now we’re all depressingly familiar with: hotel rooms, harassment, assault.

It also included some horrific allegations against Quentin Tarantino, her director on Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill (which after filming was split into two volumes).

Thurman described how he forced her into an unsafe scene driving a car while filming Kill Bill, despite her saying she would prefer a stunt driver to do it.

“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director. He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’” He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”

That incident ended in a car accident and lifelong injuries for Thurman.

She also described how Tarantino – already a director known for gratuitous violence – enjoyed lending himself to some of Kill Bill‘s most violent scenes, telling the New York Times how he both spat in her face and choked her in scenes where other characters are meant to be doing it.

Thurman says that in “Kill Bill,” Tarantino had done the honours with some of the sadistic flourishes himself, spitting in her face in the scene where Michael Madsen is seen on screen doing it and choking her with a chain in the scene where a teenager named Gogo is on screen doing it.

In response, Hollywood actors and producers are speaking out against the director.

“I keep imagining Tarantino spitting in Uma’s face and strangling her with a chain for Kill Bill,” tweeted Jessica Chastain.

“How many images of women in media do we celebrate that showcase abuse? When did this become normalised ‘entertainment’?

“Directors inserting themselves into a scene depicting abuse is crossing a boundary. How can an actor feel safe when your director is strangling you?”


Evan Rachel Wood – who assured Westworld fans that she had never felt anything but safe on set – spoke up about the dangers actors face in the pursuit of art.

“Actors are pushed past their comfort zones. They are lied to, manipulated, and placated to produce a certain result.There is also a paralysing fear to never say no. Make no mistake, actors are abused all the time. We swallow our pride and risk our lives for job security,” she said.

She then spent her time busting misconceptions and schooling the trolls in her mentions.


“It’s a quiet constant in this business, actors being pushed by directors to do things the actors don’t think are safe,” tweeted child actress (and now author) Quinn Cummings. “To the shock of no one, this happens more often to the women.”

In a long thread about the issue, she continued: “Not every director is a decent person. Some people direct because they’re manipulative bullies. Shockingly, those people create dynamics where they get to manipulate and bully people. I know nothing of Tarentino’s feelings for Thurman as a person but in that moment, on that set, she wasn’t a person to him. She was a prop. When she spoke up, she became an impediment. Directors are great at problem-solving. She was a problem; he solved it. She got hurt? Oh well.”

Comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow questioned why Tarantino was still being supported by the industry.

And Asia Argento got straight to the point.

Tarantino hasn’t yet commented on the story (and didn’t respond to the NY Times’ request for comment), but after the Weinstein allegations first surfaced, he admitted he knew enough to have done something.

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” he said in October last year. “There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”

Image: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison