German Playboy Stands by Ennio Morricone Story Trashing Quentin Tarantino

Ennio Morricone - GETTY - H 2016
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Burda Verlag, the publisher of Playboy in Germany, says the interview with the composer took place in Rome this past summer. Morricone denies having done the interview and having made comments calling Tarantino a "cretin" and his films "trash."

The publisher of the German edition of Playboy is standing by an interview it published with Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone in which he is quoted heavily criticizing collaborator Quentin Tarantino, calling the director a "cretin" and saying his films are "trash."

Playboy published the interview in its December issue, available now on newsstands and online. But shortly afterward, Morricone denied having made negative comments about Tarantino and his films and said he would take legal action against the German magazine.

On Monday, Herbert Burda Media, the publishing group that owns Playboy in Germany, issued a statement defending the interview.

"We are surprised that composer Ennio Morricone denies giving an interview to German Playboy,” the company said. “In fact, the conversation took place on June 30, 2018, at his estate in Rome. The interview, about the concert organizer Semmel Concerts, which was also present at the interview, had been agreed to with German Playboy. We also cannot understand that parts of the published statements were apparently not found to have been accurate.”

Herbert Burda and Playboy Germany did not respond to requests by The Hollywood Reporter for further comment and have not said if an audio recording of the alleged interview exists.

The interview, by music journalist Marcel Anders, quotes Morricone calling Tarantino, with whom he worked on 2015's The Hateful Eight, an untalented and unoriginal director "who just steals from others and puts it together again. ... He's not a director. Not comparable to the real Hollywood greats like John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock or Billy Wilder."

Morricone won his second Oscar for his score to The Hateful Eight. The composer, whose best-known scores include those for Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, celebrated his 90th birthday on Saturday.