Quentin Tarantino Describes 'Death Proof' Character as 'Mulatto,' Faces Social Media Backlash

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is facing a backlash after a character description in his script for the 2007 film Death Proof was posted online.

In the screenplay, Tarantino introduces the film's first female character, "Jungle" Julia, as a "tall (maybe 6ft) Amazonian Mulatto goddess." Her outfit is described as "a baby tee, and panties that her big ass (a good thing) spill out of, and her long legs grow out of." Finally, the filmmaker reveals the character's name: "This sexy chick is Austin, Texas, local celebrity JUNGLE JULIA LUCAI."

Tarantino's description of "Jungle" Julia appeared in the final version of Tarantino's script and was first pointed out by Vulture. It was verified by the Death Proof script, which is available online via Scribd.

Actor Sydney Tamiia Poitier, daughter of famed actor Sidney Poitier, was cast in the role. Death Proof remains the young Poitier's most well-known role, though she has appeared in many TV roles since, including a lead role in the current AXN drama Carter.

Neither Poitier or Tarantino responded to Newsweek's request for comment by the time of publication.

When Vulture editor Kyle Buchanan posted a screenshot of the script on Twitter, the backlash was immediate.

"Was 'Mixed race' or 'Bi-racial' too difficult to spell?" asked one user.

"This sounds like he was writing one of those cringy yet offensive fan fictions," commented another.

"Mulatto? What decade is this?" said another.

One particularly popular reply was simply a GIF of comedian Dave Chapelle saying "Goddamn, that was racist!"

"Mulatto" is generally considered an offensive term in the United States. It was historically used to refer to people who were born to one white parent and one black parent. You can learn more about the history of the term and its origins from Espana Fly's 2010 article for Parlour Magazine, "'Mulatto': Racial Slur or Socially Acceptable?"

For years, Tarantino has been seen as a champion of strong female and diverse characters. But the filmmaker's reputation has been slipping as of late.

In October, Tarantino admitted he was aware that his friend and longtime professional partner, Harvey Weinstein, mistreated women and did nothing to prevent it. (The Weinstein-owned production company, Dimension Films, distributed Death Proof along with many of Tarantino's films.)

Two months ago, Tarantino came under fire again for his treatment of Uma Thurman while filming Kill Bill. Thurman told the New York Times she had finally been granted footage from a car crash she was involved in on set, from a scene she never wanted to shoot. The filmmaker also reportedly choked and spat on Thurman in order to make some scenes look realistic.

Tarantino later told Deadline Thurman had agreed to both, and that Thurman was the one who suggested she be choked.