Quentin Tarantino: Blaming Newtown Shooting on Movies Is 'Disrespectful'

'The issue is gun control and mental health,' director says

Quentin Tarantino
Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images
Quentin Tarantino in Hollywood, California on December 1, 2012.
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Quentin Tarantino said that linking movie violence with the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is "disrespectful" in an interview with NPR. When Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked Tarantino whether movie violence lost its "fun" after the Newtown shootings, the Django Unchained director replied, "Not for me." Gross pushed on the point, which irritated Tarantino.

"When you say, 'After the tragedy,' what do you mean by that exactly?" he asked. "Do you mean, 'On that day, would I watch The Wild Bunch?' Maybe not on that day. Would I watch a kung fu movie three days after the Sandy Hook massacre? Maybe, because they have nothing to do with each other."

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Gross asked Tarantino if he was becoming annoyed, and he replied that he was. "I think it's disrespectful to their memory, actually . . . to talk about movies," he said. "I think it's totally disrespectful to their memory. Obviously, the issue is gun control and mental health."

Tarantino noted questions about violence in film have followed him throughout his career, and said his stance hasn't changed. "I've been asked this question for 20 years – about the effects of violence in movies related to violence in real life," he said. "My answer is the same 20 years ago. It hasn't changed one iota. Obviously, I don't think one has to do with the other."