Playboy Walks Back Ennio Morricone Interview Trashing Quentin Tarantino as a ‘Cretin’

“We must unfortunately assume that the words spoken in the interview have, in part, been reproduced incorrectly,” magazine’s German publisher says in a statement

Ennio Morricone Oscars
Getty images

Playboy’s German publisher is walking back its defense of a recent article published about Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone, admitting that Morricone’s words were “reproduced incorrectly.”

The magazine apologized to Morricone after he threatened to sue Playboy in a libel lawsuit over the interview that quoted him trashing Quentin Tarantino as a “cretin.”

“Up to now, we have considered the freelancer who conducted the Ennio Morricone interview on our behalf to be a renowned print and radio journalist. In the past, we have had no reason to doubt his journalistic integrity and skills,” Playboy’s German publisher, Hubert Burda Media, said in a statement.

“Based on the information now at our disposal, we must unfortunately assume that the words spoken in the interview have, in part, been reproduced incorrectly. We would like to express our regret should Mr. Morricone have been portrayed in a false light. We are working to clarify this matter and are exploring legal measures.”

Though Burda’s statement did not specify which passages in the interview might have been “reproduced incorrectly,” Morricone disputed that he ever called director Quentin Tarantino, on whose film “The Hateful Eight” he won his first Oscar, a “cretin” or derided the American director’s films as “trash.”

In the article, Morricone was also quoted as saying that Tarantino requested completed film scores for “The Hateful Eight” on short notice and dismissed Tarantino’s style as one that “steals from others and puts stuff back together again.”

Over the weekend, Morricone called the Playboy Germany interview “totally false.”

“In London, during a press conference in front of Tarantino, I clearly stated that I consider Quentin one of the greatest directors of this time,” said Morricone in a statement Sunday. “I have not given an interview to Playboy Germany and even more, I have never called Tarantino a cretin and certainly do not consider his films garbage,” he continued. “I have given a mandate to my lawyer in Italy to take civil and penal action.”

Morricone also denied other quotes attributed to him, including that he called the Academy Awards ceremony “boring” and had no intention of returning to the United States.

Morricone said in the statement he “would never speak poorly of the Academy” and called it “an important institution,” adding that his “Hateful Eight” Oscar and the lifetime achievement award he received from the Academy in 2007 are “two of the most important acknowledgments of my career.”