The Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union with more than 325,000 officers, just offered a veiled threat to director Quentin Tarantino ahead of the release of his new movie, The Hateful Eight, set to be released nationwide Jan. 8.
"Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element," the Fraternal Order of Police's executive director, Jim Pasco, told The Hollywood Reporter. He added that "a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable."
Pasco also stated it was not a physical threat, and that the surprise in question could take place any time between now and when the movie opens in limited release Dec. 25.
The announcement and language dovetails a swath of police boycotts of the director following his involvement in an anti-police brutality rally in New York City Oct. 24. Speaking to the crowd gathered that day, Tarantino said, "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."
New York's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association was first to boycott in response, joined several days later by the police unions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. However, this is the first mention of a "surprise" beyond boycotts. Other police unions have issued their own calls for a boycott in the intervening weeks, including, as of yesterday, the Baltimore branch of the Fraternal Order of Police.
But Tarantino has come to his own defense, both in the pages of the Los Angeles Times and in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes. He's also been defended by others, including actor Viggo Mortensen, who told Democracy Now! that "the way that the police authority figures are speaking against Tarantino is by making irrelevant moral judgments about his movies, you know, to attack him."
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org