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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says Quentin Tarantino's Depiction of Bruce Lee Is 'Sloppy & Somewhat Racist'

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says Quentin Tarantino's Depiction of Bruce Lee Is 'Sloppy & Somewhat Racist'

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not happy with Quentin Tarantino‘s representation of Bruce Lee in his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The 72-year-old former basketball player penned a piece for THR on Friday (August 16) explaining his stance.

“Filmmakers have a responsibility when playing with people’s perceptions of admired historic people to maintain a basic truth about the content of their character. Quentin Tarantino’s portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does not live up to this standard. Of course, Tarantino has the artistic right to portray Bruce any way he wants. But to do so in such a sloppy and somewhat racist way is a failure both as an artist and as a human being,” he wrote.

Bruce Lee was my friend and teacher. That doesn’t give him a free pass for how he’s portrayed in movies. But it does give me some insight into the man,” he went on to say.

“I was in public with Bruce several times when some random jerk would loudly challenge Bruce to a fight. He always politely declined and moved on. First rule of Bruce’s fight club was don’t fight — unless there is no other option. He felt no need to prove himself. He knew who he was and that the real fight wasn’t on the mat, it was on the screen in creating opportunities for Asians to be seen as more than grinning stereotypes. Unfortunately, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood prefers the good old ways.”

Bruce Lee‘s daughter also had words for Quentin Tarantino. See what she said!

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Quentin Tarantino

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