Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the legendary, retired basketball player, who had a close relationship with Bruce Lee, the dead, champion martial arts actor, is protective of Lee’s legacy. He’s unhappy with how Quentin Tarantino portrayed his friend in the new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the middle of the film, Brad Pitt’s character fights Bruce Lee. Jabbar described Tarantino’s depiction of Lee as being “sloppy” and “somewhat racist.” Jabbar was unhappy with what he perceived as a bigoted machismo in the way that Pitt’s character defeated Lee in the fight scene. Bruce Lee’s family has also spoken out about Bruce’s portrayal in the film. Lee’s daughter Shannon was particularly frustrated with the portrayal of her father. She thought that he was unfairly portrayed as cruel and arrogant. All Quentin Tarantino movies are controversial…it’s the nature of the beast; someone’s going to be unhappy. Sorry Kareem. Sorry Shannon.
Author George B. Meier