Stop Reviving Sharon Tate

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most horrific murders that the world has seen, and with that I say; leave Sharon Tate out of the cinematic universe already.

Photo Credit: Biography

Sharon Tate held a glimmering rising star status, her position as a leading siren of her era almost cemented prior to her murder. Even Playboy declared 1967 ‘the year that Sharon Tate happens’, the same year that her character in Don’t Make Waves (1967) ‘Malibu’ later inspired the Malibu Barbie that debuted in 1971.

Yet, these aren’t the roles that Tate’s name and face is most recognised alongside. Her name is forever tethered to Charles Mansion and his cult of acid induced, crazed goons who brutally murdered her in her home while she was eight months pregnant.

While we can recognise cinema’s potential to bring a story to life, breathing new perspectives and emotion into a narrative; Hollywood’s handling of Tate’s heinous murder has been downright disrespectful.

We’re all aware of Tarantino’s adaptation of the story, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. The very mention of Tarantino’s involvement sent shivers down my spine, his flair for violence, profanity and highly stylised characters could very well shatter the boundary between artistic and disrespectful.

I’m holding on to the sliver of hope that Tarantino’s ninth film does more than stomp over Tate with dirty feet (he’s got to get those feet cameos in, obviously) but the odds are looking slim.

Here’s a list of all the times Sharon Tate was disrespected by Hollywood:


Lindsay Lohan- 2015

Photo Credit: Paper Magazine

In 2015 Lindsay Lohan took to Instagram in long beige boots, a crop-top and hot-pants combo that I’m assuming she thought was 60s-esque, a lip pout and blonde hair for a pouting mirror selfie captioned: “I LOVE SHARON TATE #CANCERmeetsAQUARIUS #themelook #hippieWINTERCHIC.”

The post was shared on November 12, 2015. Otherwise known as Charles Manson’s 81st birthday.

What were her motives? We’ll never know.


The Haunting of Sharon Tate – 2019

As many scramble to make content and films this year in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Tate’s murder, this film starring former Disney actress, Hilary Duff, might just take the cake for most outlandish. This film claims to be ‘based on the story of Sharon Tate’s dreams and the Manson Family nightmare.”

As far as we know, Tate was completely unaware of her fate at the hands of Manson’s goons. Tate’s sister, Debra, told People magazine:

“I know for a fact she did not have a premonition, awake or in a dream. It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event.”

Bizarrely, writer and director Daniel Farrands also thought it would be a good idea to include a scene where Tate gazes down at her lifeless pregnant body. The film takes the role of a bootleg Insidious wannabe film, with camera filters that seem to come straight from every Instagram model’s VSCO presets and a narrative that strays so far from reality it might as well have been conjured up by Tim Burton.

I’m going to have to agree with Debra Tate here, any shred of artistic courageousness is trampled by the sheer classlessness of the whole narrative.


One Upon A Time In Hollywood – 2019

While Margo Robbie’s Tate is aesthetically spot-on, her relevance is stuffed under male-driven dialogue, a fictitious narrative, and a gaggle of dirty-feet snapshots.

Tarantino’s film has already achieved widespread disapproval, considering its female characters speak for roughly 27 percent of the dialogue, with critics also claiming its Tarantino at his revisionist worst. The film dubbed ‘obscenely regressive’ is also suggested to have reduced Sharon Tate to a ‘cardboard cut-out’ with a ‘dream-girl’ trope used as the foundation of her character.

The films primary narrative is about an aging actor, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), it is not centred around Tate or the Manson Family. In fact, Tate’s character represents the embodiment of Hollywood’s spiritually liberating, placid days in the 1960s; as Tarantino views it.

Robbie was forced to defend her role in the film at a panel in Cannes this May after a reporter addressed the noticeable absence of lines that Tate had during the film.

“I don’t think it was intended to delve deeper … I think the tragedy was ultimately the loss of innocence, and I think to show those wonderful sides of her could be done without speaking.

Tarantino decided on a more directly impolite response and said: “I reject your hypothesis.”

For those of you yet to watch the film, be prepared for something different surrounding the ending of the film in comparison to the true events that took place. Especially considering Tarantino is known to ‘rewrite history’ in his films.

Redemption Ahead?


Charlie Says – 2019

Released in late 2018 at the Venice Film Festival, and in theatres the following year in May, Charlie Says is directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol) and co-written by ex-cult member, Guinevere Turner.

The film takes place in three years after the Manson murders, placing the three women at the centre of the film. The  brainwashed women, Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón), Patricia Krewinkel (Sosie Bacon) and Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), are shown in prison still bright-eyed and Charlie-loving.

The film is arguably a more refreshing take on the Manson Family, showcasing the women that actually committed the murders on Manson’s behalf, rather than focusing on Charlie himself.

In one scene, Leslie Van Houten character played by the actress known for her role as Gilly on Game of Thrones recounts a story from the Manson Family ranch. Her eerie statement: “Every girl should have a daddy like Charlie,” should be enough to confirm the inculcated attitudes of the Manson women.

Although Tate was 26 at the time of her murder, her role is played by 22 year old Grace Van Dien. Her character was not tarnished for the most part, even remaining true to the real events that took place.

Turner told Rolling Stone she considered reaching out to Debra Tate when writing the script for Charlie Says:

“I thought about her so much when writing the movie…And so I thought maybe we should talk to her and show her the movie and say ‘This is where we’re coming from. But then I think about how Sharon is represented in the movie, and she’s represented well, but I don’t know that I need Debra Tate to see an image of her sister begging for her life.”


Tate- In Development

Starring the ever-graceful Kate Bosworth, Tate follows Sharon in the last few days of her life. Director Michael Polish, otherwise known as Bosworth’s husband, stated that the movie won’t depict the brutal death of Tate.

“As a father and a filmmaker, I am not interested in portraying violence on screen with this particular project. It has no place in the Tate’s life any longer.”

Bosworth also took to Instagram to post about the film, saying it will “only celebrate her life. We will not violate her or exploit her death.”

Tate is the only film that had received Debra Tate’s approval right from the beginning.

“At long last I have found filmmakers who are interested in the life story of my sister Sharon. Other projects have been a real source of pain in their insensitivity and gross exploitation of my sister,” she said, according to Deadline. “I am proud to join this very accomplished team to bring the story of the profoundly unique woman known as Sharon Tate.”

There is yet to be a release date set for the film.

All these adaptations of Tate’s life have me questioning whether the world, and more importantly the Tates, need to see Sharon Tate brought to life and slaughtered on screen again and again for entertainment.

What do you think of all the Sharon Tate re-imaginings? Let us know in the comments down below!