As of November 3rd, police unions in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Orange County, New Jersey, Chicago, and elsewhere have called for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film The Hateful Eight. The reason? The director made some critical comments at a police brutality protest in New York's Washington Square Park in October.
A little more than a week later, Tarantino has finally responded to the growing number of unions speaking out against him in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The director is not apologizing, instead insisting that police unions are twisting his words to distract from the real issue of cop brutality in America.
Tarantino says that he does not think all police officers are murderers. "I never said that. I never even implied that."
The Pulp Fiction director goes on to tell the Times that he thinks it's "pretty obvious" what is happening: police unions are trying to deflect attention away from themselves.
Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.
The controversy started several weeks ago, at an event in Washington Square Park, in New York City. At the event Tarantino marched with protestors and delivered some remarks, including:
I’m a human being with a conscience…And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.
The following day, New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Patrick Lynch issued a statement saying "New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous ‘Cop Fiction.’ It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.”
Several other police unions soon joined in voicing their displeasure with Tarantino's remarks, also calling for a boycott of The Hateful Eight.
Tarantino describes the remarks aimed at him by police unions as "misrepresentation" and "slanderous." But he isn't backing away from what he said, saying "I'm not being intimidated."
"What I said was the truth."
The Hateful Eight will be released out on Christmas Day in the U.S.
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