Pulp Fiction is widely regarded as Quentin Tarantino’s finest work. The brilliant crime caper features a star-studded cast in some of their all-time greatest parts, including Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Tim Roth.
It’s still a fantastic timepiece, but now there’s a debate on whether Pulp Fiction could be made today. The discussion began with writer Tom Nichols of The Atlantic:
I’m watching pulp fiction right now and wondering, 28 years later, if you could make this movie today
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 7, 2022
In his replies, Nichols does not believe that the excessive brutality, drug use, or rape-scene are a problem, but he thinks that Tarantino’s usage of the N-word prohibits him from making this movie today. It’s been pointed out that it would be quite simple to make Pulp Fiction right now, because the N-word isn’t essential to the plot:
You could just without QT saying the N word 100 times.
— Oh, Fabrice! AKA Lion Unlucky™ (@fazaam2awesome) February 7, 2022
According to Simons, “Removing the N-word from the film would totally sanitize the movie.” Later, he says that he believes the film would be unmistakably different without it. According to him, the film’s use of the N-word might have been responsible for its win at the Palm d’Or in 1994.
Many of the replies mock Nichols’ statement:
No that would be blatant copyright infringement
— Its That Egg (@feggnews) February 7, 2022
If only there were more modern films where people said the n word a lot, damn probably not, whoever directed Pulp Fiction probably couldn’t get work in today’s environment
— De Tomaso Panera (@griffonatrix) February 7, 2022
No way. People would get 10 minutes into it and be like “Hey, this is Pulp Fiction. We’ve all seen this before.”
— Recreational Dentist (@pbAstronaut) February 7, 2022
You couldn’t, because he already made it, everybody’d be like, “hey this is exactly like that film that won the Palme d’Or in 1994???!”
— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) February 7, 2022
You do know Tarantino is still making movies and not for Hallmark, right?
— melico (@melico24) February 7, 2022
Yeah they really ran that Tarantino guy out on a rail after that one, never heard from again
— Molly (@_uncoolniece) February 7, 2022
Searching ‘Quentin Tarantino’ on google and having my eyes explode like a cartoon wolf at how many movies hes made since 1994 pic.twitter.com/Hdotupn6s4
— MAX PROPAYNE III (@Black24Payne) February 7, 2022
All of this is wrapped up in a dig at so-called cancel culture, which is expected to arrive for classic films. However, because I can’t see that anyone is campaign to prohibit or censor Pulp Fiction, it appears to be an example of creating a non-issue and then getting upset about it on the internet.
It’s also obvious that none of this will make a difference. Quentin Tarantino will continue to be one of the most highly regarded filmmakers working today, his films are firmly entrenched in the cultural canon, and Pulp Fiction is still a cinematic icon.