Quentin Tarantino’s new film “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” is already facing backlash after its debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for its portrayal of Bruce Lee.
In what some Twitter users have dubbed a “white male power fantasy,” Brad Pitt’s character can be seen taking on martial arts legend Bruce Lee in a short clip from the movie’s trailer.
Bruce Lee, portrayed by actor and martial arts instructor Mike Moh, tells Pitt’s character, “My hands are registered as lethal weapons. We get into a fight, I accidentally kill you, I go to jail.”
To which Pitt’s character arrogantly replies, “Anybody accidentally kills anybody in a fight they go to jail, it’s called manslaughter.”
The two begin to face off as Pitt effortlessly manages to keep up with the martial arts legend — a scene many Asian American audiences found to be cringe-worthy and somewhat disrespectful to the real Bruce Lee.
— Olivia Truffaut-Wong (@iWatchiAm) March 20, 2019
— Laura (@lsirikul) March 20, 2019
A white male power fantasy, thinking it’s anything other than pure nonsense that Brad could “take on” a master like Bruce Lee https://t.co/r6Ncn2PjPd
— Mallory Yu (@mallory_yu) March 20, 2019
My point is Quentin Tarantino has a fucked up track record with POC and I, a POC, am highly suspicious of his use of Bruce Lee. That is my point.
— Brandon David Wilson (@Geniusbastard) May 21, 2019
What? Really Quentin Tarantino? You gonna do Bruce Lee like that? #OnceUponATimeInHollywood
— John Wong (@JohnIsASound) May 22, 2019
Fuck Quentin Tarantino.
— Angry Asian Man (@angryasianman) May 22, 2019
Although Tarantino’s new film has yet to be revealed to the public, it has also drawn criticism over its treatment of female characters and scenes featuring “rage against women.”
With strong disapproval already coming from both female and Asian audiences long before the film’s premiere date, it appears Tarantino’s new film could be the subject of controversy once it is unveiled to the public in the coming months.
“Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” is set to be released on July 26, 2019.