The sex scenes and subject matter got it banned in certain countries.
Many people hated its treatment of actors, Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando by the film's director, Bernardo Bertolucci. Schneider said that making the film was her life's only regret, that it "ruined her life", and that she considers Bertolucci a "gangster and a pimp". In 2011, Bertolucci denied that he "stole her youth" (she was 19 at the time of filming), and commented, "The girl wasn't mature enough to understand what was going on." Schneider remained friends with Brando until his death, but never made up with Bertolucci. She also claimed that Brando and Bertolucci "made a fortune" from the film while she made very little money. Brando said to Bertolucci at the time, "I was completely and utterly violated by you. I will never make another film like that". Brando refused to speak to Bertolucci for 15 years after the production was completed. Much like Schneider, Brando later said he "felt raped and manipulated" by the film.