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Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino, and #MeToo

Lauren Rhodes

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Uma Thurman has more patience than I ever would have in her situation. I kinda wish she would have gone all Kill Bill on Quentin Tarantino’s face, however violence is never the answer. Yet, I would have paid money to see that.  

Anyways, Uma Thurman showed immense restraint in telling her #MeToo story in her own time. I have to say I wish she didn’t receive criticism. But, alas anyone who identifies as a female and comes forward with their own #MeToo story receives some of the harshest criticism I have ever seen. It truly breaks my heart to see such negative comments like “Well what were you wearing? Were you asking for it? Oh, don’t pretend you didn’t like it.” I mean, it’s no wonder why more individuals don’t come forward with their story.

I don’t know why, any time an individual comes forward with their story, they are treated as if this is the first story of it’s kind, like those critics are hell bent at starting at square one all over again just to delegitimize their story just for kicks. Critics of the movement and statements such as the ones above shame the storyteller while ignoring the abhorrent behavior they went through. That completely misses the entire point of the #MeToo movement.

The movement was started by a few individuals coming forward to share their stories so other individuals feel comfortable sharing their stories as well. If individuals don’t feel safe and comfortable to share their story, unwanted sexual harassment and assault will continue to rear its ugly head in more pervasive ways than it has before.

Uma Thurman, in an interview conducted by Maureen Dowd from The New York Times, feels conflicted for a lot of reasons. Firstly, she feels like her sexual assault opened up the floodgates for other women to be sexually assaulted as well. She expresses that complication in her own words, “the complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was.” In this quote, it’s clear to see, she is a class act because despite going through a traumatic experience she feels she has a duty to make her story known so other individuals don’t have to suffer like she did.  

In the article, Uma recalls a time when she was just 16 years of age and older actor nearly 20 years older than her coerced her into some type of sexual activity, and despite not wanting to do it, she complied. “I was ultimately compliant,” she remembers. “I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do. He told me the door was locked but I never ran over and tried the knob. When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised. Something like that tunes the dial one way or another, right? You become more compliant or less compliant, and I think I became less compliant.”

NO ONE, no matter their age, race, and gender etc. should have to be forced against their will to anything let alone sexual activity they don’t want to do. If consent is not giving, it should not be taken by force. It’s fantastic that Uma stood up for herself however, that was after Harvey Weinstein had tried numerous time to force himself on her, yet she finally didn’t take his bait.

He, however threatened to derail her career because he thinks highly of himself and as an executive producer, he very well could have blacklisted her from Hollywood. He has since said, he has no recollection of threatening her and of course, he doesn’t. Now onto Tarantino, he forced her to drive a car and do a stunt in Kill Bill that could have nearly killed her, and he also spit and choked her to get the shots needed for the movie franchise. What a piece of work he is. He also conveniently “forgot,” about the sexual advances Weinstein made towards her, some ally he is.

Men in power think they have the upper hand and that they can just take what they want without consequences. Well, times up, as this is the dawn of a new age. To end the interview, Uma has the following to say and I think it’s a lovely start to change in the world. “Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned to believe that cruelty and love somehow have a connection and that is like the sort of era that we need to evolve out of.” #MeToo gave a voice to the voiceless who felt like their painful experiences weren’t experienced by anyone else. It would be a shame to force those same storytellers back into no longer sharing their stories. It’s high time we start changing and evolving so no one has a similar story such as Uma’s and countless others.  

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Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino, and #MeToo