"He could shut up about it," Lee told Variety. "That would be really nice. Or he could apologize or he could say, 'I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie. But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.'"
Shannon’s pointed comment comes after Tarantino defended his depiction of the iconic martial artist and actor while promoting the film in Moscow.
"Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy," he said. "The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up. I heard him say things like that to that effect. If people are saying, 'Well he never said he could beat up Mohammad Ali,' well yeah he did. Alright? Not only did he say that but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. She absolutely said that."
The scene in question involves Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Booth remembering a previous incident which got him tossed off the set. Booth recalls seeing Bruce Lee, played by Mike Moh, bragging about how he could quickly dispose of Muhammad Ali. That depiction was even brought into question by Lee's protégé Dan Inosanto who claims Bruce "would have never said anything derogatory about Muhammad Ali because he worshiped the ground Muhammad Ali walked on."
While Shannon acknowledges that her father wasn't a "perfect man" and could have his confidence mistaken for arrogance, she cannot understand why Tarantino would argue that his portrayal of Bruce is factual in a film that is rooted in fantasy. "One of the things that's troubling in his response is that, on the one hand, he wants to put this forward as fact and, on the other hand, he wants to stay in fiction," she said.
"[Tarantino] can portray Bruce Lee however he wanted to, and he did," she adds. "But it’s a little disingenuous for him to say, 'Well this is how he was, but this is a fictional movie, so don’t worry too much about it.'"
Shannon also disputes where Tarantino got his information about who Bruce really was. There is a passage from Linda Lee’s book, Bruce Lee: The Man I Only Knew, which states, "Those who watched [Bruce] Lee would bet on Lee to render Cassius Clay senseless." However, that quote comes from a critic, not his wife, as the acclaimed filmmaker appears to think.