The disgraced Miramax and Weinstein Company mega-producer was convicted of rape in 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Weinstein produced nine films with Tarantino before parting ways in October 2017 amid the #MeToo movement allegations against Weinstein.
“I’d never heard the stories that later came out at all,” Tarantino said during HBO Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.” “I heard the same stories that everybody had heard. What I wish I had done was talk to Harvey about it and say, ‘Harvey, you can’t do this.'”
The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” auteur continued, “To tell you the truth, I chalked it up to a ‘Mad Men’-era version of the boss chasing the secretary around the desk. I’m not saying that’s OK. That’s how I heard it…in that category. There was never any talk of rape or anything like that.”
Tarantino added that he felt Weinstein was “pathetic” and didn’t want to have a “hard conversation” with him.
“I felt what he was doing was pathetic, and I didn’t want to deal with his pathetic-ness,” Tarantino said. “I didn’t think it was, ‘OK, you do this for me or you’re not going to get this movie.’ I never heard any actresses say anything like that. It was just, you know, ‘Don’t get in the back of a limo with him.’ It was easy to compartmentalize that to some degree.”
The “Cinema Speculation” author reflected, “Anyway, I feel bad about. What I feel bad about is I feel bad that I did not have a man-to-man talk with him about it.”
Tarantino previously revealed in 2017 that actress and former girlfriend Mira Sorvino told him about Weinstein’s sexual abuse towards her. “I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino told The New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”
He continued, “What I did was marginalize the incidents. Anything I say now will sound like a crappy excuse…I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk. As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Last year on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Tarantino said he wished he had a conversation with Weinstein at the time. “I wish I had sat him down and had the uncomfortable conversation,” Tarantino said in 2021. “I wish I had talked to him. I wish I had sat him down and gone, ‘Harvey, you can’t do this, you’re gonna fuck up everything.’ Maybe his brother Bob [did], but I don’t think anybody talked to him about it. And the thing about it is everybody who was in his orbit knew about it. Probably they didn’t know anything about rapes, but they had heard things.”