Hollywood film director Quentin Tarantino is under fire for basing a character in his recent movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on a convicted pedophile.
According to the National Enquirer, Timothy Oliphant appeared in the movie as James Stacy, a western gunslinger type. It seems as though no one realized until recently that James Stacy was a real person who was an actor in the 1950s through the early 1990s.
In the 1970s, Stacy lost an arm and a leg in a motorcycle accident that also killed the woman riding with him. He continued acting in movies and television after the accident and was able to play characters who had disabilities like his.
A lurid tale
But Stacy was not just a disabled actor; as the National Enquirer reports, it also came out later that Stacy was a pedophile who stalked several young girls and molested at least one of them.
Stacy reportedly served a six-year prison sentence after he pleaded no contest to molesting an 11-year-old girl in 1995.
The actor fled before sentencing could take place and was arrested in Hawaii. He once jumped off a cliff in an apparent suicide attempt, reports noted.
The California prosecutor who handled his case said he probably could have gotten just probation for the molestation if not for the outrageous behavior that followed.
Stacy’s history is not a secret by any stretch; it’s even on Wikipedia.
Why did he do it?
So why did Tarantino make Stacy such an endearing character in his movie, with his horrible history and past? As Stacy’s great-niece and film professor Nicole Haggard pointed out in an opinion column for The Wrap, everything that Tarantino does in his movies has meaning and significance.
She also pointed out that the movie as a whole sexualizes young girls and includes other abusers Charles Manson and Roman Polanski in it — but that can’t be what Tarantino was going for, could it?
The outrage over Stacy and others is real for now, but will it lead to lasting change? Doubtful, given Hollywood’s track record.