Quentin Tarantino has spoken out on his longtime and close working relationship with producer Harvey Weinstein, acknowledging that he's ashamed he was aware of some of Weinstein's abhorrent acts but did not take a stand against them.
“I knew enough to do more than I did,” the director told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday.
Tarantino cited several Weinstein episodes involving prominent actresses.
“There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things," Tarantino said. "I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard."
Weinstein has been fired from his job at the company he co-founded, The Weinstein Company, and kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the wake of reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker chronicling decades of harassment and alleged assault.
Weinstein and Tarantino have been collaborators since 1992. The powerful producer has distributed Tarantino's films starting with breakthrough Reservoir Dogs, through Pulp Fiction, the Kill Bill films, Inglourious Basterds and 2015's The Hateful Eight.
The Times noted that just weeks ago, Weinstein threw Tarantino and singer Daniella Pick an engagement party.
Tarantino said that his own former girlfriend, actress Mira Sorvino, told him about unwelcome advances and unwanted touching by Weinstein. But he wrote those accounts off.
“What I did was marginalize the incidents,” Tarantino said, “Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse.”
He added: “I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. As if that’s OK. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino said he tried to call Weinstein several times following the bombshell disclosures of the past weeks. He received no reply. Weinstein needs to “face the music,” Tarantino said.
Tarantino had a message for other men in Hollywood who know similar stories.
“I’m calling on the other guys who knew more to not be scared. Don’t just give out statements. Acknowledge that there was something rotten in Denmark," he said. "Vow to do better by our sisters.”