While Quentin Tarantino got some mild nods of approval for his full disclosure interview with the New York Times about Harvey Weinstein — in which he admitted knowing his longtime distributor, financier, and friend had sexually harassed women, and regretted not doing more to stop him — Anthony Bourdain was apparently not one of those applauding the “Pulp Fiction” director’s honesty.
This morning, during his PGA Produced By panel with his “Parts Unknown” producer and co-creator Lydia Tenaglia, Bourdain talked about how one of the keys to their creative freedom has been their strict “no-assholes rule.” In telling one anecdote about how he and Tenaglia walked away from an unnamed media mogul, who offered an enormous amount of money after they pitched him a project, took a swipe at Tarantino.
“The guy was clearly a monster and offering us untold wealth — it was everything we pitched and wanted,” said Bourdain. “I don’t want this guy calling us ever. There’s no amount of money in the world that will make that go down any easier. It would have been a lethal compromise. It would have been a slow-acting poison that would eventually eaten away at our souls until we end up like Quentin Tarantino.” As the audience erupted in laughter, Bourdain added: “Looking back on a life of complicity and shame and compromise.”
Bourdain, the boyfriend of Weinstein’s alleged victim Asia Argento — whose accusation of being raped by Weinstein was revealed in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker bombshell article — has been outspoken on social media about Hollywood’s complicity in Weinstein’s remaining in power while he was allegedly terrorizing, sexual harassing, and assaulting dozens of women. Tarantino, who has never made movie without Weinstein, despite being told by his late-’90s girlfriend, actress Mira Sorvino, that she had been harassed by Weinstein, was a natural target for Bourdain’s anger about Hollywood’s complicity.
Bourdain, who has attacked the press as “co-conspirators” and public figures like Hillary Clinton for “shameful” responses to the Weinstein scandal, has made it clear how personal this story is to him.
“This Weinstein story is deeply personal to me — and far, far, far more personal and painful to people I love and people I care about,” wrote Bourdain on Twitter.