On Friday, at the end of a 75-minute Q&A at the Produced By NY conference, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, star of CNN's Parts Unknown, lashed out at Quentin Tarantino for his complicity in the sexual abuses of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood film mogul who produced many of Tarantino's films.
Bourdain's comments arose from a story in which a person he and his partners knew to be shady offered them a lucrative merchandising deal. Though it was "a lot of money," Bourdain and his team ultimately turned down the offer.
[The deal] would have been a slow-acting poison that would have nibbled away at our souls until we ended up like Quentin Tarantino, looking back at a life of complicity, shame and compromise.
Bourdain is dating actress and director Asia Argento, one of over 60 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and abuse. Argento told The New Yorker that, when she was 21, Weinstein forced oral sex upon her, despite her protestations. She claims that she continued a sexual relationship with him for the next five years out of fear he would end her career.
One might think.
Bourdain has had personal experiences that encourage him to speak out against injustices such as this. In 2006, while filming abroad for his Travel Channel series No Reservations, he and his crew were stranded by an unexpected conflict between Israel and Hezbollah forces. At first, Bourdain thought ignoring this serious issue might be the best course for his program. But in the end, he decided to address it in a serious segment at the show's end. During the Q&A, he commented on how the experience affected him.
From that point on it changed everything for me.
Bourdain has been extremely supportive of Argento as women come forward with accusations against Weinstein. Argento has faced harsh backlash in her home country of Italy from several news outlets, including the newspaper Libero, which ran a headline about the Weinstein victims which translates to "First I give it away, then I whine and pretend to repent." Another piece, specifically about her, claims her interactions with Weinstein were "prostitution, not rape," and that:
...sexual blackmail [is] a rite of passage for actresses.
This is not the first time Argento has made reference to Weinstein's actions. In 1999, she directed a film in which a powerful film producer named "Harry" sexually abuses her character. Harry invites her character into his hotel room and propositions her for a massage before forcing oral sex on her.
*Warning: Graphic Language*
The 10th season of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown is currently airing on CNN on Sundays at 9pm, though he doesn't expect Quentin Tarantino to be watching.