“You can’t throw the word rape around”

Quentin Tarentino explained what rape is and what it isn’t.

That Tarantino’s apologia is disingenuous in the era of #MeToo could come as a surprise if you’re unfamiliar with the director’s love of depicting women having the shit kicked out of them on camera or if you’re unfamiliar with interviews he’s done in the past. Like, for example, this 2003 Howard Stern interview submitted to us by a reader in which he adamantly defends Roman Polanski’s sexual assault of a 13-year-old in 1977.

Asked by Stern why Hollywood embraces “this mad man, this director who raped a 13-year-old,” Tarantino replied:

“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.”

Fair point, very fair point. Polanski didn’t rape the 13-year-old, he simply took advantage of the fact that she was very young and her parents weren’t in the room with them.

Reminded by Robin Quivers that Polanski’s victim—who had been plied with quaaludes and alcohol before her assault—did not want to have sex with Polanski, Tarantino became riled up.

Tarantino: No, that was not the case AT ALL. She wanted to have it and dated the guy and—

Quivers: She was 13!

Tarantino: And by the way, we’re talking about America’s morals, not talking about the morals in Europe and everything.

Stern: Wait a minute. If you have sex with a 13-year-old girl and you’re a grown man, you know that that’s wrong.

Quivers: …giving her booze and pills…

Tarantino: Look, she was down with this.

Yeah. She was a 13-year-old hoor and Polanski did nothing wrong!

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