Playboy Admits to Fabricating Ennio Morricone Quotes — And Throws Its Reporter Under the Bus

Ennio Morricone (photo: Gonzalo Tello CC 2.0)
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Ennio Morricone (photo: Gonzalo Tello CC 2.0)
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Ennio Morricone (photo: Gonzalo Tello CC 2.0)

So what exactly happened?

After a supposed quote from Ennio Morricone about Quentin Tarantino went viral, it looks like Playboy Germany has been forced into a corner.  An interview that was published by German Playboy included a quote from Morricone calling Tarantino a “cretin” and who makes “trash” movies.

Morricone quickly responded to the online interview and denied the remarks, which Playboy initially defended.  Now, Playboy admits that some of the published interview with Morricone was “reproduced incorrectly.”

Playboy issued an apology to the 90-year-old Italian composer of more than 500 scores.  Morricone is known for his work on all of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and his work with Giuseppe Tornatore.  The score for The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is widely considered to be one of the most influential soundtracks in modern history.  The score was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Morricone also composed the score for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and received an Oscar in 2016 for his work on the film.

Playboy says that their freelance writer who conducted the interview is to blame.

“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,” Playboy stated.  “In the past, we have had no reason to doubt his journalistic integrity and skills. 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.”

The interview appears in Playboy’s December issue.  Morricone said the interview was entirely inaccurate and has threatened legal action.  Hubert Burda Media initially defended the story when it went live, and Morricone initially denied giving an interview to German Playboy at all.

That last part raised serious suspicions, as it now seems like the composer is admitting the interview took place.  Perhaps Morricone was stretching the truth after speaking too freely?

Either way, Morricone refuted the interview’s contents and issued a statement addressing them.

“I consider Tarantino a great director,” Morricone stated.  “I am very fond of my collaboration with him and the relationship we have developed during the time we have spent together. He is courageous and has an enormous personality. I credit Tarantino for being one of the people responsible for getting me an Oscar, which is for sure one of the greatest acknowledgments of my career, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to compose music for his film.”

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