Boots Riley Blasts ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ for Failing to Depict The Manson Family as White Supremacists

(Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

“I’m not saying it has to be historically accurate, just that the difference changes the actual meaning of the film.”

Boots Riley has added his voice to the chorus of criticism aimed at Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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The Sorry To Bother You director aired his grievance on Twitter earlier this week, condemning the film for its portrayal of The Manson Family as “hippies,” instead of “overt white supremacists,” a fact he claims “flips Tarantino’s allegory on its head.”

In a follow-up statement, Riley tells Indiewire, “I actually love Tarantino as a filmmaker and usually go to see his movies about twice each right off the bat, with more viewings later. One correction is that I said they wanted a race war in order to kill black people, but they actually wanted it to end with black people to be enslaved by them. The couple things that they said to sound ‘counterculture’ was said while they were on trial and using that to gain sympathy.”

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Riley goes on to admit “this doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the movie separately from that.” He adds, “Great performances and I appreciated the unorthodox structure. There are other things to say about that movie- as with any movie- but that’s as far down the rabbit hole as I want to go.”

It’s far from the first time Riley has come down on a peer’s film. Last year, the director had a brief bout with Spike Lee over the historical accuracy and moral takeaways of BlacKkKlansman.

Head over to IndieWire to read his full statement on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.




Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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