Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not happy with the way Bruce Lee has been portrayed in Quentin Tarantinos latest movie, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.
The basketball player, who was a close friend to Bruce and co-starred with him in the 1973 film Game Of Death, believes that Quentins portrayal of the late actor and martial artist did not live up to his standards and presents him in a sloppy and racist way.
In Once Upon a Time, Bruce Lee has been played by actor Mike Moh, who only has one significant scene in the movie, which also stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The scene sees Brad Pitts character, Cliff Booth, take offence to Bruce boasting about his fighting abilities, and thus Bruce challenges him to a sparring match.
Kareem admitted that this has left him torn, as Quentin was a director he had long admired, but has been left disappointed with the way his friend and teacher has been presented.
In a new column published by the Hollywood Reporter, he said: Filmmakers have a responsibility when playing with peoples perceptions of admired historic people to maintain a basic truth about the content of their character.
Quentin Tarantinos portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does not live up to this standard.
Of course, Tarantino has the artistic right to portray Bruce any way he wants. But to do so in such a sloppy and somewhat racist way is a failure both as an artist and as a human being.
He also argues that the actor never wanted to fight when challenged to in public, and felt no need to prove himself.
The 72-year-old quickly became friends with Bruce when he was a student at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), looking to further improve his martial art skills.
And it was Bruce that taught Kareem the discipline and spirituality of martial arts.
Kareem isnt the first to call out Quentin on his portrayal of the martial artist.