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Abdul-Jabbar Says Tarantino's Film Treats Bruce Lee as a Racist Stereotype

Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon

Shannon Lee isn't the only one taking issue with Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's portrayal of her late father, Bruce Lee. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the martial arts expert's Game of Death co-star and basketball legend, also criticized the film's depiction of Lee.

"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," Abdul-Jabbar wrote for The Hollywood Reporter.

RELATED: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Lee's Daughter Rebukes Tarantino's Defense

According to Abdul-Jabbar, Bruce Lee had a deep passion for getting rid of the Asian stereotypes prevalent in TV and films at the time: "Bruce was dedicated to changing the dismissive image of Asians through his acting, writing and promotion of Jeet Kune Do, his interpretation of martial arts."

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Though Abdul-Jabbar said he considers Tarantino one of his favorite filmmakers, he believes Once Upon a Time's version of Bruce Lee was reminiscent of the Asian stereotypes Lee was trying to destroy.

RELATED: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Tarantino Defends Portrayal of Bruce Lee

Written, directed and produced by Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Burt Reynolds, Al Pacino, Tim Roth, Zoe Bell, Michael Madsen, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch and Dakota Fanning.

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