Quentin Tarantino: It's 'Disrespectful' to Newtown Victims to Blame Movies for School Shooting

The Instigators
Miller Mobley

Quentin Tarantino's latest offering, The Weinstein Co.’s Django Unchained, has ruffled more than a few feathers with its brazen use of the N-word (more than 100 utterances) and extreme violence (particularly in a post-Connecticut-school-shooting America). Pressed about some of the harsher criticisms of his filmmaking philosophy, Tarantino doesn’t flinch: “I believe in what I’m doing whole-heartedly and passionately. It’s my job to ignore that.”

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The “Django Unchained” director says, “Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health.”

Quentin Tarantino was audibly “annoyed” when a radio interview turned to talk of movie violence sparking real-world violence.

Terry Gross, host of NPR’s Fresh Air, asked Tarantino if his enjoyment of violent films was diminished in the wake of tragedies such as the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

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“Would I watch a kung fu movie three days after the Sandy Hook massacre? Would I watch a kung fu movie? Maybe, 'cause they have nothing to do with each other,” Tarantino said.

When Gross suggested Tarantino sounded annoyed, he answered that he was.

“I'm really annoyed. I think it's disrespectful. I think it's disrespectful to their memory ... of the people who died to talk about movies,” he said. “I think it's totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health.”

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The debate over violence in Hollywood films and TV shows has been intensified following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 20 children and six adults were killed. Violent scenes from Tarantino’s latest film, Django Unchained, were recently used in a video slamming Hollywood stars as hypocrites for calling for stricter gun laws while playing violent characters on screen.

And a poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter and pollster Penn Schoen Berland found that 70 percent of adults over age 30 surveyed said there was too much violence in advertising for movies and TV. But 75 percent of everyone polled said the government should not pressure Hollywood to make less violent products. 

In his interview with Fresh Air, Tarantino said he's been asked about violence in movies for 20 years and his opinion on it hasn't changed.