After admitting that the “butter rape scene” from the Last Tango in Paris was not consensual, director Bernardo Bertolucci received backlash and outrage. Recently, he released his statement (the final one, he claims) and describes the whole ordeal as a “ridiculous misunderstanding.”
The statement was originally in Italian, obtained and translated by Variety. It reads, “I would like, for the last time, to clear up a ridiculous misunderstanding that continues to generate press reports about Last Tango in Paris around the world. Several years ago at the Cinemathèque Francaise someone asked me for details on the famous butter scene. I specified, but perhaps I was not clear, that I decided with Marlon Brando not to inform Maria [Schneider] that we would have used butter. We wanted her spontaneous reaction to that improper use [of the butter]. That is where the misunderstanding lies.”
“Somebody thought, and thinks, that Maria had not been informed about the violence on her. That is false!” He continued on with, “Maria knew everything because she had read the script, where it was all described. The only novelty was the idea of the butter. And that, as I learned many years later, offended Maria. Not the violence that she is subjected to in the scene, which was written in the screenplay.”
The backlash ensued when a video of the director from 2013 resurfaced where he admitted to not informing Maria of what was happening on set. “Because I wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress,” said Bertolucci.
No matter what took place, Maria was still offended and felt like she was raped by both her director and her co-star Marlon Brando, and no one listened. Let’s not brush that off, shall we?[US Magazine]
Photo courtesy of US Magazine