Quentin Unchained: Watch Tarantino’s ‘I’m Shutting Your Butt Down’ Rant on British TV

Quentin Tarantino loses the plot with a British television host

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You’d think that life was going pretty smoothly for the celebrated director Quentin Tarantino. His new movie, the slavery-revenge western Django Unchained, has not only taken more than $100 million at the U.S. box office, but had a pretty decent showing at Thursday’s Oscar nominations, scoring five nods including one for Best Picture.

But it’s hard to figure out QT’s bizarre behavior during an interview with the Channel 4 Evening News host Krishnan Guru-Murthy, in which the 49-year-old auteur lost his cool with the British journalist, telling him, among other things, “I’m shutting your butt down.”

(REVIEW: Django Unchained: Tarantino Frees the Slaves)

Tarantino began to act erratically once Guru-Murthy started to ask him about a possible link between on-screen and off-screen violence — much in the news due to last month’s tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the ongoing political debate over gun control.

Yet rather than engage with Guru-Murthy or bat him off with a polite response, Tarantino went on the offensive, saying, “Don’t ask me questions like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question.” Pushing back, Guru-Murthy said it was his job to flesh out Tarantino’s opinion, which resulted in the now infamous line, “I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not your monkey.”

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Tarantino calmed down a bit and tried a different tack. “I’m here to sell my movie,” he said. “This is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake. I don’t want to talk about the implications of violence.” He continued in this vein, saying “If anyone cares what I have to say about it, they can Google me, and they can look for 20 years on what I have to say about it. I haven’t changed my opinion one iota.”

Guru-Murthy pursued his subject, continuing to ask Tarantino for his views on violence. The director, clearly flustered, waved his hands and said, “I’m shutting your butt down.” The interview didn’t last much longer.

“It’s been a good week,” Tarantino said later the same day at Django Unchained‘s London premiere. It makes you wonder how the interview would have gone had he been having a bad week.

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32 comments
Jinky
Jinky

Moments earlier Tarantino says he loves that his film has sparked a debate about slavery and is happy to talk about that. He's also happy repeating himself about many issues that he's talked about over the years. But when asked about the correlation between violence in movies and in real life he simply dodges the question and goes on the defensive. Sure it's his right to do so, but I think he's chickening out. 

Right now in America there is a big debate on violence in society and gun-rights with the NRA (a very vocal and powerful lobby) pointing its finger at Hollywood as one of the main causes of violence in society. This was a chance for Tarantino to fight back and put the NRA in its place with a very smart, passionate, and well-thought out answer. But he can't. Makes me wonder if he feels there really is a correlation that he cannot defend. As a fan, I was very disappointed.  

SamWatkins
SamWatkins

Talk about a waste of golden opportunity.

You have a great director in the studio, come to do an interview, the BBC assigns some troll who apparently doesn't even like his movies to do the interview.

And so, instead of making a great interview he just wastes his time and pisses him off.  FAIL.

SamWatkins
SamWatkins

I don't mind so much that the troll interviewer asked a Troll question.

But he should respect the director, and take "No" for an answer, not waste 5 minutes prodding him.

It's really rude and disrespectful to waste QT time like that.  Disrespectful to the viewer, also; we don't want to see that pathetic attempted power struggle.

jsahn
jsahn

Guru-Murthy is dumb and Levy is dumber. it was awesome to see Tarantino shutting him down.

Heian
Heian

A lot of people seem to think that was a "bait" question - trying to "get" Tarantino on movie violence in some link with real-life violence, like it was some kind of trap. If that had been the case, the question would have been much more directed, such as "Do you think movies that glorify violence, like yours, have a link with real-world violence?" The phrasing of the question wasn't aggressive or suggestive of blame. It was an question to open discussion on a subject that is prominent in the media today.

Honestly, the more talk about it with people who can dismiss such ridiculous connections is important, and the more it's seen and heard, the better. It could have gone into a great discussion about the differences in reactive and random violence, or how seeing the results of violence affects viewers and their opinions of violence, or anything in the spectrum of a short, thoughtful conversation given the context of recent events.

Seeing somebody who makes violent movies act overly aggressive and petulant isn't exactly a step in the right direction for disproving the baseless assumption that involvement in fictional violence affects a person's personality.

rihannk
rihannk

I think Mr Tarantino is paranoid.

gustavo_menezes
gustavo_menezes

I love Tarantino's work, but he didn't have to be so unpolite.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Good for Tarantino!  Way to stick it to the god-damn politically correct, liberal media!

LeAnneKatz
LeAnneKatz

Loved it. Loved QT's position and the stand he took on his position. Didn't think his responses were bizarre.Yes Guru-Murthy WAS asking the same tired question that filmmakers have been asked for well over 50 years and being very persistent about it. And No QT doesn't have to answer it over and over again.   I personally would have used fewer words... said essentially "I'm tired of that question. Let's move on" as many times as it took for Guru-Murthy to finally got it... but then that's just me. 

janeem
janeem

I couldn't disagree more. You can't continually make violent movies and not answer questions about that violence in NEWS program interviews,  just because you've 'answered those questions before' - how lame. If he has an opinion that he's ok with why not just say it - who cares if he's repeating himself - he does that in the theme of his movies all the time!. Control freak.

GabiHoover
GabiHoover

Tarantino rules... That's such a good example of bad journalism and bad interview. Agreed with @duyn9uyen . 

duyn9uyen
duyn9uyen

What a dump and luring interview question.  Krishnan Guru-Murthy was definitely trying to get a "bite." It's cinema! Movies have ratings. It is the responsibility of the viewer or parent, to choose what to watch or what not to watch.  If every artist had to censor themselves or be a moral role model, there would be no freedom of speech or expression.